Commercial flood damage refers to a commercial property being affected by water damage as a result of a natural flood, burst pipes or even an undetected leak that has been growing for some time. Restoration of a commercial property, after a flood has taken place can be a costly and lengthy process, not to mention all electrical appliances and equipment such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, computer networks, manufacturing equipment and more that will need to be thoroughly checked for signs of water damage, before the property can be deemed a safe environment for employees and visitors to return.
The most troublesome fact about water is that it travels with ease, which means that commercial building structures are susceptible to attack from several different entry points. In these cases, it is imperative that immediate water damage cleanup action is taken to prevent buildings from suffering a level of damage that takes it beyond the point of restoration.
The biggest risks that can follow flood damage to commercial properties include:
This can result from water traveling through the building due to a burst pipe. Ceilings and walls are then susceptible to moisture absorption, which can cause them to weaken over time. This type of damage to the structural integrity of a building can be hazardous to human safety in cases where weakened joints lead to ceiling and floorboard collapse. Attending to a flooded commercial property immediately and using the correct building drying equipment, can reduce the chance of long-term structural damage.
Mould is almost a guaranteed risk if the drying process is carried out inefficiently within a commercial property. For instance, narrow passageways behind appliances and cracks in the wall left ignored or areas that are not properly dried out will be the perfect breeding ground for mould, which can then go on to contaminate the entire room and even the entire building. Mould can trigger a surplus of health risks including respiratory, nose and throat infections and is more dangerous for vulnerable persons. Untreated mould is now classed as a health hazard on a similar scale to asbestos and as a business owner you have a legal responsibility to ensure the building is a safe working environment and free from mould.
Decontamination can be lengthy and delaying process but as a businessperson working out of a commercial property, this is a situation you would definitely want to prevent by ensuring the water damage restoration process is carried out properly. If mould has affected your commercial property, the help of specialist mould removal services can still save your business.
Hidden leaks are especially dangerous as minor leaks can often lead to major, long-lasting damage across the commercial property. If commercial water damage was caused by a hidden leak that wasn’t detected, it’s essential to ensure it’s fixed during the restoration process, otherwise flooding will continue to happen.
Leaks can damage electrical appliances, furniture and files, the replacement of which can be very costly for any business. Not to mention, water getting into contact with electrical appliances which can make for a very dangerous environment that will threaten the safety of your employees and visitors. For these reasons, it is imperative that any signs of water leaks are dealt with straightaway.
Commercial properties are often known for their vast size, thus the size of cleanup and restoration work that will follow a flood taking place in the building will be no small feat. Below are a few of the steps that you can take to protect your building against commercial flood damage in the first place as well as how to protect your assets in the event of a flood. However, if your building has already been affected by flooding, our step-by-step guide to cleaning up after water damage will help.
It is essential that you understand the biggest flood risks to your property such as nearby rivers, lakes and other waterways and put measures in place to prevent flooding should mother nature have other plans – especially over the winter months. Regularly assessing your commercial property to identify any areas that are most likely to facilitate flood water entry and the spread of it across the entirety of the building will help you to better prepare for the worst.
Regularly assessing your property for blocked drains, poor plumbing, or structural issues with roofing, especially flat roofs often seen on commercial buildings, will allow your business to make informed decisions about how to reduce your flood risks.
HVAC systems are common in commercial properties and it’s a very important piece of equipment to keep protected in the event of a flood. This may include waterproofing certain components or placing it at a safe level of elevation; by taking these steps, you will be preventing the chances of power outages. Furthermore, a water damaged HVAC system means that moisture is likely to remain in the building and promote the growth of mould and bacteria, leading to higher repair costs.
The latter may sound like a menial task but it can make a big difference because with blocked gutters you run the risk of water spilling over onto the exterior of the property, instead of being removed as is the purpose of a functioning gutter. It is important to regularly check gutters are not blocked and if so clean out any debris. However when it comes to flood-proofing, a layer of waterproof coating over the exterior surface of the building and the filling in of any holes or gaps will help prevent an ingress of water.
A flood plan is beneficial to have because while prevention is much more desirable, you should be prepared for the worst. An ideal flood plan should contain the contact information for your local council, utility providers and helplines including flood and water damage specialists such as CPL t/a Rainbow Restoration. It is essential that it also includes a step-by-step evacuation plan and steps to protect business equipment and appliances, with safety in mind. Having a flood plan for your commercial business can help to reduce the impact from floodwater, by speeding up the restoration process.
CPL t/a Rainbow Restoration are specialists when it comes to understanding immediacy following flood damage. We know that when you are running business, the last thing you want to be worrying about is commercial flood damage but it is still something that deserves your attention.
We will get you up and running again as quickly as possible, minimising disruption wherever we can. If you are worried about your commercial property’s flood-risk, or are in need of specialist cleanup and restoration services, don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact page, or alternatively, send us an enquiry and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.