Water Damage Prevention and Mitigation

By November 19, 2021Flood, Mold
flood with sandbags

Water damage at a commercial site can prove to be a major setback for a business. Yet, it’s a problem that is not so rare. It can affect the smallest of salons to the swankiest of business centers. 

It’s impossible to predict a flooding event, yet you can take steps to mitigate the effects of flooding at your business premises.

Water damage comes in various forms, both big and small. Natural events like rain and storms can fill the place with knee-deep water. On the other hand, bad practices of staff and customers can clog drains and introduce complications. 

Whatever the case, here are a few steps that can minimize damage and reduce the chances of water damage at your property.

Preventing Water Damage

Water damage prevention method selection depends on your unique situation. For some businesses, it might be a matter of educating their staff, while for others; a reconstruction project might be required. Here are some tips that can help you prevent water damage in the future.

1. Keep Drainage System Maintained

A drainage system that’s working properly eliminates a lot of hassle. More often than not, water damage is caused by clogged drainage systems. 

You can educate your staff to maintain the drains by teaching these simple practices:

Do Not Sweep Debris Down The Drain

Educate your staff about not sweeping debris, small pieces of litter, torn-off plast ic wrappings, or other waste into the drain. People generally think that their waste en ds straight into the sewer, but that's not the case. Debris gets stuck in the P-trap, and eventually, the accumulated gunk clogs the drain.


Do Not Let the Drains Dry Out

When a drain is out of use, the P-trap water can dry out through evaporation. The gases from the sewer can fill the area with a foul smell. If a drain has been left dormant for a long-time, pour some water into it to prevent sewer gases from filtering back into the building.


Keep Bugs Out of the Drainage

To keep pest problems at bay, clean the drains with drain cleaners once or twice a month. Use drain stoppers or screens to stop the insects from making their way back out of the drain hole. Do not let pests breed into the drain hole because they multiply fast and can infest the entire building.


Schedule Cleaning for Drainage System

Don't wait for a major problem to occur. Schedule a day or two a month to clean all the drains on your property, whether it's dormant or active. It sounds obvious, but the drain is the last place our attention goes to unless it gets clogged and becomes a nuisance. It’s a good idea to get the drains professionally cleaned once every few years, especially if there are a lot of trees around your property, or your building has a lot of footfall.

2. Landscaping

A landscaping project involves reconstructions and repairs in the vicinity of your property to reduce the possibility of flooding. 

Your business premises will be inspected for constructions that can potentially hold water or block it from running down freely. Certain areas of your property can be elevated to direct the flow of water away from your building.

3. Employing Dry Floodproofing Techniques

If your building is in a flood-prone area, you can employ dry floodproofing techniques to protect your property. 

For example, you can use sandbags, and water-absorbent material or plastic sheets to divert the water away from the building. 

You can also use water-tight shields over doors and windows for protection. 

It might not seem like a permanent solution but it’s a fast and effective fix if moving forward with a landscaping project is not an option for you right now.

4. Raise the Electrical and HVAC Systems Above the Base Flood Level

Base Flood Level (BFE) is the elevation at which your property has a one percent chance of flooding, annually. To prevent hazards and electric malfunctions, have all your electric and HVAC systems raised above the BFE.

5. Install a Sump Pump

Sump pumps immediately start pumping out water in case of flooding. These pumps are placed in the lowest part of the building (often the basement). 

They have a float switch that activates them when the water level rises. The sump pump pumps the water at a safe distance from your property. 

Have the sump pump plugged into emergency power in case the power goes off. They work even when fully submerged in water, and thus can be of big help in a flooding event.

6. Get a Professional Inspection

If you have moved into a new building or had new construction done, you might have no idea about the areas in the building that might be prone to flooding. 

A professional inspector can identify construction faults and defects such as damaged spouts, dysfunctional drainage systems, grade sloping towards the building, damaged foundation, and areas where water can accumulate. 

Using this information, you can take preventative measures to protect your property against water damage.

Mitigating Water Damage

1

Identify The Risk

In the case of water damage caused by faulty faucets, or a leaking washing machine, you have less reason to worry.

In case of flooding and drainage overflow, plan your action steps based on the quality of water. If the water is black, chances are it's coming from the sewer and poses a health hazard. Anything that the water touches becomes a health hazard too. Decontamination is necessary in this case.

Make sure to take precautions against electrical hazards before you begin restoration.

Move all the valuables and important documentation out of the building and instruct your staff to vacate if necessary.

2

Don't Wait for the Water to Dry Out by Itself

Water damage is often followed by mold and mildew growth. The longer you let the water stand in the building, the higher the chances of a mold infestation.

Standing water can also decay your furniture, walls, doors, and other belongings beyond repair.

Don't wait for the water to dry out by itself, begin the drying process as soon as possible.

3

Call a Water Damage Restoration Company

A restoration company can assist you with reversing the effects of extensive water damage. If applicable, the restoration company can also help you claim insurance money.

Restoration companies can salvage your belongings and restrict water damage by preventing the water from spreading. If the situation allows, you can operate the business while the restoration goes on in the background.

The speedy restoration will stop the problem from growing further and keep your expenses as low as possible. Soon, your building will be looking as new as ever, and you can resume business.

Harmful Effects of Water Damage:

Water Damage is not only restricted to wet floors and furniture. It can cause other damages such as:

Mold Growth
Stagnant water promotes mold growth. If left unattended for a period, mold growth can infest parts of the building that are not in direct contact with the water. Apart from being an ugly sight for the customers, mold growth can cause other problems such as structural damage, reduced air quality, and musky smell. You might need to hire a mold remediation company to eliminate mold and stop it from reoccurring.

Structural Damage to the Building
Flood and water damage compromises the integrity of the building. Standing water can eventually be absorbed in the foundation and weaken its composition. It also puts wooden furniture, doors, and windows at risk of decaying. Water damage to the roof, walls, and foundation speeds up the aging of the building.

Promotes Pest Growth
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for harmful insects like mosquitoes, drain flies, and cockroaches. These insects can multiply and infest other areas on your property and live rent-free. It can put everyone on your property and nearby at the risk of contracting diseases and allergies.

Can Require Costly Repair
You can avoid paying a hefty fee for water damage restoration by taking preventative measures early on. Often, neglect is the reason behind water damage, and a simple landscaping and repair project can easily fix it.

Electrical Hazard
On large properties, leaks can be too small to be noticed by your staff but can annoy your customers. However, if unattended, leaks in pipes and appliances can create an electrical hazard that can be lethal for your customers and staff. Taking prevention is the best measure against electrical hazards, otherwise, it might be too late before it comes to your attention.

Call us for Water Damage Restoration

Rainfire Restoration offers flooding and water damage restoration services. Our team can reverse the water damage and make things look as good as new.

We have a 24-hour response team to aid you in an emergency and minimize the damage to your property and business. We can also help you recover your belongings and property, and restore its value.

Our team is certified by the IICRC to perform flood and water damage restoration services. Though water damage and flooding is an unfortunate affair, Rainfire Restoration will make things as smooth as possible for you. If you have any queries or want our immediate support, call us now!

Alan Seegrist

Author Alan Seegrist

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