Commercial water damage happens for many reasons. Whether from a flooding event, roof leak, corroded pipes, or improperly installed fittings, commercial property water damage can make any business close its doors for an extended period.
Every day you are closed is another day of lost revenue. The good news is that while disasters and emergencies may happen when you least expect them, understanding the different ways commercial property water damage can impact your business can help you prepare for any situation.
Risks of Commercial Water Damage
Loss of Equipment
More than making a mess inside your business office, retail store, or industrial facility, water from a flood or leak can also cause equipment damage. Unfortunately, devices like payment terminals, inventory management tools, and attendance machines can be expensive to repair or replace. The same goes for specialized manufacturing equipment or custom workstations.
Occupant Health and Safety
Water entering a commercial facility can also be detrimental to the health and safety of your employees and customers.
It increases the risks of workplace accidents, whether from slippery floors, waterlogged structures, or even electrocution. There are also the chances of microbial growth, especially in cases of unaddressed water damage. Mold can cause various respiratory conditions that can lead to long-term health complications, especially in those who spend a lot of time inside your facility.
Structural Damage and Expensive Repairs
Structural damage is one of the most unsafe and expensive situations you might encounter after water damage to your property.
Buildings are usually made of organic materials such as wood, drywall, and insulation — all of which are vulnerable to water and moisture. Once they’re soaked, they will usually need to be removed and replaced since they can no longer be restored.
Besides the expenses you’ll incur from doing the necessary repairs and replacements, you may also have to deal with a significant loss of income from having to close down your operations. It’s also worth noting that working with insurers on your claims can be time-consuming, and it will keep you busy gathering the required documentation instead of focusing on reopening your business.
The 3 Types of Contaminated Water
Commercial water damage restoration experts can help you manage the above risks and minimize losses. However, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of water contamination. Doing so helps you understand what you’re dealing with and how to address it correctly.
White Water Damage (Category 1)
Category 1 carries a low risk of contamination. It generally comes from broken water lines, melting snow, and rainwater, so it’s not likely to contain harmful bacteria or contaminants. Nevertheless addressing white water damage as soon as possible is crucial to eliminating health risks and other injuries.
Gray Water Damage (Category 2)
Gray water damage falls under the “contamination” phase of a water emergency, as it results from toilet overflows, water heater leaks, and chemical wastes like laundry detergents. This category can be potentially life-threatening without prompt and proper commercial water damage cleanup.
Black Water Damage (Category 3)
Also considered the “severely contaminated” water phase, black water damage can be toxic to humans and animals. It comes from sewer backups, flooding from rainwater, rising water from streams, and other weather-related issues, often carrying harmful pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella, and shigella.
Getting an infection or illness with a Category 3 contamination is highly likely, so you’ll need the help of experts in commercial water damage cleanup to keep yourself and everyone safe.
What You Can Do To Prevent Commercial Property Water Damage
Here are some helpful pointers to keep in mind as you protect your building from any water damage category:
- Stay up to date with news regarding hurricanes and other disasters. Understand how much wind or rain might come, and prepare your building accordingly.
- When signs of a plumbing problem arise, shut off the valves and work with a trusted plumber to resolve the issue. Actively managing this preventable water damage source protects your property from gushing water from a burst pipe or malfunctioning water heating system.
- Contact a licensed commercial water damage cleanup and restoration company as soon as a disaster strikes. They will have the right tools, cleaning solutions, and equipment to clean and decontaminate your facility and, most importantly, prevent secondary issues.
Restoration 1 of Austin is an IICRC-certified team offering commercial water damage cleanup and restoration solutions.
If you face equipment or structural damage after a water intrusion, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. We are available 24/7 to respond to your emergency and help you reopen your doors to the public.