Water damage restoration for water leaks resulting from overstressed plumbing at businesses
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Media explains how the holiday shopping rush can lead to an increased number of people needing to use a retail establishment’s facilities and how the extra use can cause clogged pipes, toilet backups, and water leaks.
The holidays are one of the busiest and most profitable times of year for retail businesses, but the extra load of seasonal shoppers could overstress the plumbing, resulting in a water damage disaster that eats into holiday profits. At SERVPRO of Media, the team is highly trained in commercial property damage restoration and understands just how devastating a water damage disaster can be to a business, especially during the holidays. Frustration abounds when a business has to temporarily close down during the peak of Black Friday weekend or Christmas shopping. By inspecting and preparing the plumbing system before the rush arrives, business owners can minimize the potential for a catastrophic water leak that turns a white Christmas into a black water Christmas.
Check for evidence of preexisting stress on the plumbing
Commercial plumbing is designed to withstand the demands and complexities of a commercial environment. However, pipes that are already on their last leg will be more vulnerable to failure due to the pressure of increased use. Signs of compromised plumbing can manifest in several ways.
- Pay attention to flow issues.
Is the water flow through the building restricted or reduced? Are toilet backups a constant problem? Abnormalities in water flow could point to a clog or damaged pipe.
- Look out for leaks.
Take note of all leaks — both large and small — that appear to originate from the plumbing. If the leak is small and is caught quickly, an employee or the janitorial staff may be able to mop up the water intrusion without leaving any lingering issues. However, large leaks or hidden water leaks may have caused enough damage to require the services of a water damage restoration company.
Signs of a hidden water leak include:
- discoloration of walls or floors
- peeling paint
- warped walls
- a musty smell of mold or mildew
- a visible mold infestation that occurs away from any known water sources
- unexplainable increases in water utility costs
Hidden water leaks can be especially disastrous because they are difficult to notice, allowing even a slow, small leak to cause major issues over time.
- Inspect for obvious damage.
Serious losses can be averted if the business owner or an employee spots plumbing damage early so that it can be repaired before the system fails. Keep an eye out for cracks, burst pipes, pipe swelling, loose fixtures, and broken connections.
Remediate factors that stress the plumbing system
The holiday season can be stressful enough for families and business owners, but the plumbing system does not have to be stressed too. While the plumbing cannot take a vacation over the holidays, the business owner can help out the situation by relieving some of the issues that push pipes past their limit.
- Prioritize pipe maintenance.
Every five or so years, bring in a plumbing professional to perform a video pipe inspection of the system. The technician will use a waterproof high-resolution camera attached to a flexible rod to obtain a live video feed of the situation inside the pipes. If the video detects any issues, the plumbing team will provide the appropriate maintenance or repairs.
- Reduce water pressure in the building.
Highly pressurized water can undermine the connections and seals of commercial plumbing, leading to leakage in the affected areas. A commercial plumber will be able to determine if the pressure is too high and can install a water pressure regulator if necessary.
- Encourage proper flushing practices.
When items other than toilet paper are introduced into the plumbing system, clogs can arise. Remind employees that only toilet paper should be placed in the toilets, and post restroom signage communicating the same message to customers.
- Invest in a commercial water softening system.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium.” These minerals accumulate in a building’s pipes, decreasing the flow of water through the plumbing. Over time, the sludge can completely obstruct the system, and since hard water buildup is difficult to remove, the pipes may need to be replaced. In local areas where hard water flows through the water supply, the business owner can purchase a water softener to remove unwanted minerals.
Call SERVPRO® of Media to restore the holiday cheer
When a pipe bursts or a toilet overflows at a local business in Broomall, PA, the business owner can rely on the water removal and restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Media to remediate the damage. The company provides a 24/7 emergency response and is available year-round, even on holidays. The restoration and cleanup process is completed rapidly, enabling the business to pivot right back into the most important retail season.
For more information about SERVPRO of Media’s water removal, commercial water damage restoration, and sewage cleanup services, contact the office at (610) 566-5720 or office@SERVPROmedia.com.