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Preventing Commercial Water Damage

Water Damage Restoration CharlottesvilleEvery year, burst pipes, roof leaks, overflowing toilets, and leaking appliances can cause  millions of dollars of damage to commercial facilities. Beyond the inconvenient mess, water damage can result in business interruption, relocation costs, lost rents, or missed deadlines.

According to insurance industry statistics, the frequency and cost of water damage losses are continuing to increase. In Charlottesville, Restoration 1 works with many different industries including retail, commercial, manufacturing, laboratories, and educational institutions. Over the years, their team has learned a lot about preventing water damage to business.  

Water Damage Restoration Charlottesville

Domestic plumbing (bathrooms and kitchens) is the most common source of water damage within all types of commercial buildings. Most claims involve leaking pipes caused by the same problems you have at home: corrosion, pinprick leaks, burst pipes,  faucet failure. Unlike a residence, many times a leak goes unnoticed until the next work day, after water has flowed for hours. From our water damage restoration experts, here are some lessons to lessen the chances of a disaster at your job site: 

Plan Maintenance for HVAC Systems 

So many times, big industrial units are placed on rooftops or are located away from the normal traffic flow of the building. Out of sight should not mean out of mind. Set up a planned maintenance schedule to service all heating and air conditioning systems; catch water problems before they start or worsen. For example, check that air conditioning lines are clear, the water heater functions, and no plumbing fixtures leak. 

Also create processes that make it convenient for staff to report problems early, before damage occurs. An easy to use form for  “see something- say something” could save you thousands of dollars. 

Invest in a Water Detection System

Integrate a series of tools: water detection sensors, flow sensors, automatic valve shut off devices. Water detection systems sense water leaks then automatically turn off the water when they flag parameters indicating irregular water flow. When programmed to work  24/7, when something happens outside of business hours, the calls can go to the maintenance team, the facility manager or a third party. 

So after investing in the correct system for your location, create a workflow for responding to an alert. Include contact information for your plumber, HVAC tech, Restoration1 of Charlottesville, and all your insurance agents. Make sure that the managers on call are kept up to date with any changes. 

Don’t Let A Freeze Catch You Off Guard

Charlottesville has almost 90 nights a year below freezing so ensure that your pipes don’t burst. As temperatures drop, exposed pipes are apt to fail, pouring water into your building, on your finished goods, and inevitably all over your office area. Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them, maintaining weatherstripping, keeping building temperatures warm during off hours, and replacing old pipes as needed.  

Snow and ice accumulation on your roof can weaken the roof. Melting snow also can create ice dams which can cause water to back up and pour into your building. Keep gutters and downspouts in good conditions so they can direct the melting flow away from the foundation. 

Guard The Roofs 

Your roof is your first defense against the elements. Conduct routine inspection and maintenance to help anticipate possible problem areas; fix all blisters, ridges, wrinkles, cracks, tears, open seams, and punctures.  

Many commercial offices have flat roofs with a membrane  that may crack, split, or shrink. Flashing protects the membrane’s edges but temperature changes expand and contract it. Maintaining both the membrane and flashing damage is essential.  

Keep Fire Sprinkler Systems in Top Condition 

Fire sprinklers trigger when the surrounding air reaches a certain temperature. To avoid accidental triggers, sprinklers shouldn’t be too close to heaters, under skylights, or exposed to high heat. Train your staff to know exactly what to do in the event of a sprinkler water flow alarm. 

Obviously, you’ll stay in compliance with fire protection standards to keep your building and your people safe. Regularly repair any damage, or corrosion to sprinklers, pipe, hangers, and related equipment. Pre-plan your response with your local fire department, Inspect and annually test antifreeze systems and solutions. 

Insure the Property, Properly!

Risk shifting transfers liability (or risk of loss)  from the policyholder to the insurer. Commercial water damage claims can be costly. But, the correct insurance policies can cover your space from expensive water damage, whether you own the building or rent. 

Your business insurance agent will help understand your coverage before something happens. Choose an agent familiar with similar businesses to help you think through scenarios and solutions. For example, water’s source impacts the claim and what’s covered. Protection from flood waters (versus a broken pipe) requires a separate flood policy. 

The claims processes and repair projects themselves are also time-consuming, keeping property owner’s attention away from their business. By preventing and catching water damage early, you’ll save money and stress.  

If Your Business Has Water Damage in Charlottesville

Even if you have great processes in place, emergencies can still happen. When your commercial building suffers water damage, Restoration 1 of Charlottesville is available 24/7 to clean up your site. The water damage restoration experts at Restoration 1 of Charlottesville will work quickly to get your business up and running while staying safe and reducing the overall costs of restoration.

 

“Our Restoration 1 Promise”

Our promise is that we will use the best materials and above code quality craftsmanship to restore your damaged property.

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