Natural disasters and building malfunctions can happen anytime, regardless of preparation. As a business owner, some of these disasters can spell trouble for your commercial gains or properties.
An emergency response plan can help you address commercial water damage to have as little downtime as possible. With good planning and restorative action, your business can return to its usual function faster and with fewer product and property losses.
Learn more about our water damage restoration services in St. Louis, MO to see if we fit into your plans.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Water damage can have many sources aside from inclement weather. You often risk property damage without consistent plumbing and pipeline maintenance. The following are the most common causes of water damage:
- Clogged toilets
- Overflowing sinks
- Water heater leaks
- HVAC drain system leakage
- Backed-up sewage and septic tanks
- Pipeline damage: bursts and leaks
- Overflowing washing machines or dishwashers
Unseen leaks inside the walls or from poor roof maintenance can cost thousands of dollars to repair. If a fire starts and your sprinkler system or the firefighters use hoses, you’ll battle property damage from both elements. Of course, severe storms and flooding, like tsunamis or hurricanes, can potentially hinder building stability.
Even so, proper commercial water damage preparation can help you recuperate costs and even get back to work faster.
How to Build a Water Damage Response Plan
Although building a water damage response plan can seem harrowing, making one is easier than you may expect. You should establish a few simple protocols to ensure people, assets, and buildings are safe or salvageable.
#1. Identify Risk Factors
Consider circumstances that increase the likelihood of a certain type of water damage and how you can address it. For example, if you work in an area prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, you should prepare your staff and building as much as possible. Having specialized natural disaster insurance and relaying emergency evacuation procedures can save lives and reduce recuperation costs.
#2. Mitigate Risks as Much as Possible
You cannot know everything that could happen in or around your building. Even so, you don’t want to leave issues you can address now for the future.
For instance, if you see signs of a water leak via a discolored ceiling or water stains in your walls, call for building maintenance. Plumbers and other technicians can prevent mold growth, foundation weakening, and other unseen issues from causing some commercial water damage emergencies.
Also, inform your staff and coworkers of emergency protocols. You can only use the evacuation or safety plans if everyone knows about them. Remember to set periodic meetings or notifications to ensure everyone knows what to do before the time comes to use the plan.
#3. Know Who to Call in Emergency Situations
Beyond dialing 9-1-1, you should also have immediate leadership available to help during a water emergency. The general employee may panic during a pipe burst or severe weather incident. Therefore, you should establish well-known leaders for employees to follow and rely on during incidents.
You should also have contact information for a trusted water damage repair specialist to help as soon as possible. Faster action can often lead to less overall asset loss from commercial water damage, allowing you to pick your business back up quicker.
#4. Have Plans for Downtime
Depending on the source of the water damage, you may need to evacuate your building for a little while. In such cases, ensure you can still run necessary business functions to a certain extent to keep your and your employees’ finances afloat.
The COVID-19 pandemic popularized many work-from-home measures to keep certain businesses running even during emergencies. Establish a remote work plan and inform your staff what they’ll need to do and when remote work starts.
#5. Stay as Safe as Possible
If you find yourself present in your building during or after flooding, don’t try to touch the water or assets floating in it. Flood waters often contain sewage and waste, which can lead to infections and illnesses after exposure to skin or cuts. Don’t focus on the products or business assets; focus on keeping yourself and others alive and safe.
Call an Expert for Water Damage Repairs
Water damage repair experts can identify the source of leaks and bursts or dry the property after an emergency. We restore as many assets as possible and let you return to work as usual. While addressing commercial water damage can be expensive, with fast action and an emergency plan, you can maintain your business.