Water Damage can cause big problems for commercial buildings.  Repairs can be costly, and it may prohibit your business from running while damages are being fixed.  Not all water damage is preventable, but there are several things you can do to avoid risks and prepare.

Inspections & Maintenance

  • A building’s pipes, plumbing fixtures, overall structure, and roof should be checked on a regular schedule yearly.
  • Due to the often-complex structure and components of commercial buildings it may be best to have a professional do the frequent, through inspections.
  • Professionals are trained to know specific systems and how to find and fix problems. Regular maintenance done by the experts will keep small problems from becoming big ones.
  • Pay close attention to plumbing, water heater, and filtration systems. Without proper maintenance these systems will put you at risk for leaks, system failures, and even explosions.

Upgrades & Repairs

  • Burst or leaky pipes are one of the biggest culprits for water damage. A professional inspection should be done regularly to ensure all pipes, faucets, toilet fixtures, and plumbing systems are working properly.
  • Fixtures that are used at a high-volume are at risk for leaks. Update old pipes, faucets, or fittings to ensure they can handle high water usage and wear and tear.

Emergency Planning

  • Have an action plan. Employees should know what to do if they notice a leak.  Plans should include, whom they report the issue to, where to locate water shut-off valves, and where water systems are located throughout the building.
  • Create a sheet with emergency contacts. Include contacts for building supervisors, other tenants, water restoration services, plumbers, and anyone else you may need to contact in case of an emergency or closure due to damages.
  • Protect data & important documents. Backup all important data to an external hard-drive or cloud-based system.  Store critical documents, paperwork, and plans in a waterproof safe or filing cabinet placed a few feet above the ground.
  • Secure a temporary off-site location. If an emergency causes closures for repairs, you may need a temporary location to keep your business running.  You will also want to include plans for how to notify employees and customers of these changes.

Water damage can be destructive and expensive.  Being observant and taking the time to do preventative tasks is the best way to prevent water damage in your commercial building.  Having an emergency plan will also prepare you in the event of damages that could not be prevented.

 

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Additional References & Resources:

https://restorationmasterfinder.com/restoration/water-leaks-commercial-building-tips/

https://www.hanover.com/linec/docs/171-0885.pdf

http://safe-wise.com/downloads/PreventWaterDamage-Building.pdf

 

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