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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Some Common Sources of Water Intrusion at a Commercial Facility?

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media highlights the five common causes of commercial water damage and offers tips on how a business can handle a water damage disaster when it strikes.

SERVPRO of Media provides commercial damage restoration for fire and smoke damage, water damage, and sewer backups. The damage restoration company also offers deep cleaning services for businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The restoration professionals at SERVPRO are experienced, highly trained, and well-equipped to handle the demanding challenges of commercial property damage cleanup and restoration.

A water damage incident at a business can produce a cascade of disastrous consequences such as:

  • Lost or slowed productivity spanning days or weeks
  • Revenue declines from lost sales
  • Increased overhead to cover workarounds
  • Customer migration to other suppliers or service providers
  • Employee migration to competitors or other jobs
  • Repair or replacement of damaged equipment, electronics, and tools
  • Replacement of damaged raw goods used in the production process
  • Inventory spoilage
  • Damage cleanup and restoration expenses
  • Increased insurance premiums

The actual cost of the cleanup and restoration may be minimal when compared to the cumulative economic impact on business operations, sales, the revenue cycle, customer satisfaction, and employee retention.

Prevention strategies and a recovery response plan are necessities for the business owner, operations manager, facility supervisor, or commercial property management company. Prevention, response, and remedy begin with identifying the most common causes of water damage at a business. Awareness of the most common causes of water damage in a commercial setting will assist the key decision-makers as they identify vulnerabilities and exposure to liabilities.

The roof

Roof leaks are an ongoing challenge and require constant attention. Regularly inspect a flat roof for pooling water. A square foot of water one inch deep weighs in at 5.2 pounds. A clogged drainage system can turn a commercial flat roof into a shallow pond weighing thousands of pounds. This additional stress can create a leakage nightmare.

Prevention strategy: Frequently Inspect the roof membrane, perimeter flashing, and roof penetrations (drains, pipes, and vents). Schedule an inspection with a professional commercial roof contractor. Re-caulk and re-seal before issues arise.

Equipment and appliances

Facilities with equipment that utilize water are constantly vulnerable to a water damage incident. Water heaters, air conditioners, and water filtration systems, as well as equipment involving pipes, tubes, filters, or gaskets in the production process, are at risk for a potential water leak. Significant water damage can occur if the leak happens outside the hours of normal business operations.

Prevention strategy: Schedule regular equipment inspections and maintenance. Take both written and photographic documentation of warning signs such as bulges, cracks, rust, and unexplained moisture. Periodically replace water supply lines. Re-caulk and re-seal cracks and crevices. Locate the source of leakages and abnormal deposits of moisture, and repair the leaks.

Remember to include the office refrigerator, ice maker water supply line, and in-line water filtration system in the inspection and maintenance schedule. A ruptured supply line can flow at a rate of 3 gallons per minute, or almost 1500 gallons during the eight-hour third shift when many offices are dark and deserted.

Pipes and drains

The plumbing system in a commercial setting is subject to constant usage and occasional damage from equipment. A one-eighth-inch crack can flood the office, waiting room, or sales floor with 250 gallons of water in a 24-hour day. A flooded showroom is not a welcomed sight on Monday morning.

Prevention strategy: Look for visible signs of a leak, including moisture, rust, blue stains, cracking, and bulging. Check for scale buildup inside pipes. Pipes susceptible to freezing should be adequately insulated. Consider installing a passive leak detection system where appropriate.

Sprinkler systems

Sprinkler systems are commonplace in commercial buildings to extinguish flames or at least to minimize fire damage. When a fire sprinkler system malfunctions, the water damage can be extensive.

Prevention strategy: Regular inspection and quick repair are the best course of action to prevent or minimize a water damage disaster when dealing with a sprinkler system.

Severe weather

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, and snowstorms are unavoidable. Business owners and property owners should be aware of exactly what the commercial property damage insurance policy will cover and will not cover. If any exposures are identified, seek advice from the agent about adding endorsements to close gaps in the policy. The time to learn about coverage is before a property damage disaster occurs.

Preparedness strategy: A structurally sound roof, clean gutters, clear drains, a leak detection system, and an emergency-ready plan are important factors in helping a building weather a storm or other natural disaster. A site analysis of the landscape, including slope, grade, and drainage, may indicate the need to make manageable adjustments that could potentially prevent localized site flooding during a heavy downpour from a stalled thunderstorm or slow-moving tropical storm or hurricane.

What to do after water damage

Pre-qualifying a property damage restoration company before the water damage occurs can save precious time and prevent advanced secondary damage. Look for these features and services in a damage restoration company.

  • Available 24/7, 365 days, including holidays
  • Rapid response within an hour or less
  • Detailed estimate with documentation including video and images
  • Insurance claim management from start to finish
  • Can handle any size and type of disaster
  • The best equipment and highly-trained, certified technicians
  • Experience handling commercial property damage restoration
  • A positive track record validated by reviews and references

SERVPRO of Media meets each of the criteria listed above and more. A SERVPRO of Media representative will also work closely with business owners and property managers to formulate a Ready Plan tailored to the specific needs of the client.

To learn more information about Broomall, PA, commercial water damage, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720. The office can also be contacted by email at office@SERVPROmedia.com

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