Restoring Commercial Properties After Water Damage
Recently, we saw the damage that Hurricane Ian caused in Florida – images of standing water, flood surges and more come to mind. Although community-wide disasters, like hurricanes, aren’t the most common cause of water damage and the need for water restoration services, it is a recent reminder that water can wreak havoc on any property.
Why Water is Unique
Water is considered earth’s most precious resource. It accounts for nearly 70% of the earth’s surface, has strong bonding properties and the ability to dissolve materials. What makes water so unique is that it is the only natural substance that can be found in three states – liquid, solid (ice) and gas (vapor) – at temperatures normally found on our planet.
Water is also the cause of damage in some of the worst natural catastrophes North America encounters on a regular basis: hurricanes, which account for eight of the 10 most costly catastrophes recorded in North America. As destructive as hurricanes are, they are not the leading cause of water intrusion and water damage in structures today. Excessive moisture also occurs in buildings because of construction errors, plumbing failures, damage from freezing and even improper maintenance.
Damage to a commercial building or facility from water can come in many forms. From a sprinkler malfunction to a hurricane, water damage can damage and destroy a building and its contents. Can a facility ever return to normal? Are any of the contents salvageable?
Water Can Quickly Cause Damage to Your Property
Water is extremely damaging to most common materials like wood, paper, building materials and electronics. If water can be removed from contact with affected items, damage can be reduced. If items are left in standing water, they will continue to decorate even after surface water is removed. Floodwaters are often mixed with sewage, animal waste, fertilizers, and industrial waste. When working in a flood, workers should consider the water a biohazard. Additionally, mold and mildew can cause irreparable damage to building materials and building contents even after all the standing water is gone.
Types of Water Damage Services
There are several steps necessary to address water damage effectively and efficiently. Professional water damage contractors, and an experienced water restoration company, will typically follow these steps:
Step 1: Identify Affected Areas
By using the right equipment, we can properly detect and measure moisture and humidity. In addition, thermo-hygrometers and thermal imaging cameras may also be used.
Step 2: Determine the Category of Water
The source of the water is a health and safety consideration. For water damage restoration, water is placed in three general classifications:
Category 1 (“Clean” Water)
Water from a clean source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. For a situation to remain a Category 1, water must not have been present for an extensive amount of time, and materials affected must be clean and well maintained. Examples of Category 1 water include broken water supply lines, bathtub or sink overflows with no contaminants, and appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines.
Category 2 (“Grey” Water)
Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination. Water sources that can result in Category 2 damage include aquarium leaks, waterbed leaks, toilet bowl overflows (that contain urine), and dishwasher or clothes washer discharges.
Category 3 (“Black” Water)
When water intrusion results from a grossly unsanitary source or carries pathogenic (disease causing) agents, it is said to be Category 3. Examples of Category 3 water sources include discharge from any waste line that originates from beyond the trap (from the sewer or septic system).
Step 3: Establish a Drying Plan
The only ways water can be removed from a wet structure is through water extraction and evaporation. That is why it’s imperative to extract standing water immediately. In fact, the most effective way to speed the drying process is to remove as much of the water in a liquid state as possible. Poor water extraction will slow the drying process. Contacting a professional commercial water damage restoration provider in a timely manner is key. The faster water damage services are addressed, the quicker your commercial property can be back to normal.
When you hire experienced water damage contractors, they know that the key in water extraction is not how much water is removed, but how much water is left behind.
Drying & Dehumidification
Once the excess water is removed, the remaining moisture needs to evaporate, or change from a liquid to a vapor. To accelerate this process, air moving equipment is utilized. Dehumidification is the process of removing moisture from the air. Any qualified water restoration company will utilize a formula to determine the initial amount of equipment to install to successfully dry out the affected area.
In order to facilitate both evaporation and dehumidification, it is essential to control the temperature in the affected area. In addition, microorganism growth is typically temperature related.
The Key to Recovering After Water Damage
When it comes to water damage in your commercial facility or building, every minute that passes counts. Our teams have the knowledge and equipment to perform all water damage services. Having been in business since 1948, we have encountered almost every type and size of water damage and have performed commercial water damage restoration for thousands of clients.
Should your commercial building or facility experience damage as a result of water, contact us as soon as possible!