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Categories of Water Damage in Your Commercial Building
Categories of water damage in you commercial building
Types of Water You Can Deal in Your Building
Many people do not realize that not all types of water damage is the same. The water is categorized based on how contaminated it is. This information is vital when your commercial property in Bellevue, WA, floods. If you aren't dealing with clean water, you could be looking at a potential safety hazard. These are the three types you may experience in your building.
Category 1 water is considered clean water. It is sanitary and means that the source was something like a broken pipe or leaking faucet. Patrons are not at risk when exposed to category 1 water, but it should be cleaned up quickly. If left untreated, this water could possibly turn into category 2. These leaks can also cause mold growth or pose other potential risks.
Category 2 is known as gray water and has some contamination. For instance, when a toilet overflows, the water is considered category 2 and should be cleaned up as so. If your commercial building contains washing machines, you may have a supply line: broken pipe, which can lead to flooding that is considered slightly contaminated. It may be beneficial to have a professional come handle this problem for you.
Category 3 is known as black water and is considered highly contaminated and potentially extremely harmful. On commercial properties, you find this type occurs mostly from a sewage problem. Black water should be cleaned up and disposed of properly. A water restoration company can help you handle the mess and fix the source.
If you are unsure if the source of the flood is clean water, or if you don't feel comfortable handling the damage yourself, call a water restoration expert in Bellevue, WA. Never let standing water go untreated as it can lead to mold or other problems. In addition to the cleanup, always find and fix the source so that the same issue does not happen again.
5 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings
Broken Pipes are a leading cause of Commercial Water Damage.
Commercial buildings in Bellevue, WA, require consistent maintenance to avoid water issues such as leaking pipes and fixtures. Besides guarding against severe weather and other unanticipated events, regular inspections and upkeep can prolong the integrity of your infrastructure.
Here are 5 common problems that you will likely encounter in commercial buildings:
1. Clogged Toilets
Toilets are designed to handle certain types of liquid and solid waste. However, items like rags, pet hair, and candy wrappers can clog piping, which leads to toilet backup. Though a plunger can clear most everyday clogs, some blockages can cause overflow and severe damage.
2. Dry Traps
Drain traps help keep sewer odors away from sinks, showers, toilets and appliances. However, infrequent use causes traps to dry out, which lets foul odors flow freely. Therefore, to prevent unwelcome aromas in public spaces, operate all fixtures regularly and clean any drain trap clogs.
3. Worn Seals
Gaskets, O-rings and washers help create watertight seals to prevent leaking pipes. However, they inevitably wear over time and require replacement. Ignoring worn seals or attempting to tape or seal around a leak only delays a larger problem. Thus, it’s best to replace seals to prevent significant issues down the road.
4. Slow Drains
Clogs and backups are common culprits of slow drains. Sinks, showers and floor drains are sized according to anticipated average flow, expected solids dimensions and average solids content. Hence, larger solids and viscous liquids can block drainage pipes and lead to backups and overflows.
5. Broken Pipes
Many problems in older buildings are due to brittle, damaged infrastructure. Even one small pipe break can wreak havoc on an entire system and cause mold and mildew contamination. Therefore, regularly inspect all piping and joints and replace severely worn or damaged pipes immediately.
Aside from natural disasters and unexpected events, there are ways to prevent leaking pipes and other sources of water damage in commercial buildings. Look out for common problems and devise a regular inspection and maintenance plan to keep your water issues at bay. For those issues that can't be prevented, consider enlisting the help of experts in water damage repair.
Getting Ready for Bad Weather
Having an Emergency Storm Plan can protect your business from inclement weather.
When Old Man Winter rises from his slumber and wreaks havoc on your business in Bellevue, WA, there may be little to no warning. That’s why preparation is the key to protecting your business from inclement weather, such as a snow storm.
3 Steps to Get Ready for Bad Weather
1. Know the Area’s Winter Storm History
Nobody can predict the severity of a winter season, but it doesn’t hurt to know what the past winters have brought to your area. If you have just opened a business in an unfamiliar city, look online for storms and temperatures from previous winters.
2. Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
Getting ready for a snow storm should begin before the mercury in the thermometer begins to dip. When the weather is still warm, you should start doing an assessment of your business in preparation for the winter. Do a close examination of the windows and doors to see if any air is getting inside the building. Caulking and weather stripping are great tools for insulating your business. Inspect your pipes and do what is necessary to prevent a pipe burst.
3. Create a Storm Plan for Your Employees
Encourage your employees to sign up for your area’s storm warning system and to pay attention to local forecasts when there is a chance of a winter storm. If possible, allow your employees the option of working from home. Have an alert system in place to let your employees know if the office will close due to inclement weather.
Unless you live in a tropical area, there’s a good chance Old Man Winter will punish your city with a snow storm at some point during the season. Good winter preparation is the best line of defense against a fierce wintery storm. Sometimes a storm could be so severe that some damage is unavoidable. If your business is affected, be sure to have a good contact for a company that handles storm damage restoration.
Dealing With Mold in Dry Climates
SERVPRO with professional tools can make the mold cleanup process as safe and thorough as possible.
Mold In Dry Climates
A common misconception about mold is that it’s less likely to grow in dry climates. As a business owner in Bellevue, WA, it’s important to know that fungi, especially black mold, only needs a small amount of water to proliferate. Surprisingly, it can find the water it needs even in a dry area.
1. Know That Heat Is an Ideal Factor for Growth
Mold growth is especially important to pay attention to in warm areas. The increased heat makes it easier for the fungus to grow, even without as much water. Look out for risk factors in your building like faulty seals, leaks, and excessive bathroom steam to identify potential moisture sources.
2. Understand the Way It Spreads
One of the strains that grows the quickest is black mold. If you smell a strong, musty, odor and see patches with dark green or gray spots, you’ve likely spotted this strain. At this point, you should try to tackle this problem as quickly as possible while still staying safe. If you’ve identified any mold, keep the following in mind:
- Refrain from touching it.
- Don’t try to dry the area.
- Don’t attempt to treat it with disinfectants
3. Reach Out to Professionals for Help
Your best bet is to reach out to mold remediation specialists in Bellevue, WA. With professional tools such as antimicrobial treatments and air scrubbers, they can make the mold cleanup process as safe and as thorough as possible. Considering how quickly and invasively the fungus can spread through a structure, you’ll want the best help you can get for your business.
Black mold is fast-growing type that can infest your commercial property. Unchecked growth can wreak havoc, affecting your business in a negative way. Fortunately, with a watchful eye and with help from mold remediation specialists, you’ll be able to get back to business as usual after this experience.
The Relation Between Fire Damage and Water Damage
Fire and water damage in a Somerset, WA building
When your business experiences fire damage, you may not expect to find that your building in Somerset, WA has also been damaged by water. However, when a fire affects a building, it is often likely to find damage from water as well.
Why Is a Business Likely To Become Damaged by Water After a Fire?
There are several reasons a business that has been affected by a fire is likely to experience water damage, including:
- Water from a fire hose used to extinguish the fire
- A pipe breaking or bursting as a result of the fire
- Sprinklers that go off when smoke is detected
What Causes Flooding After a Fire?
Large fires that are not contained quickly can leave an area barren. Without shrubs, trees or other types of foliage, even a normal amount of rainwater will not be properly absorbed. As a result, amounts of rain that would not normally cause a flood can result in floods that can quickly damage a business.
What Should You Do if Your Business is Damaged by a Fire?
If your business has water and fire damage, you may not know what to do next. The following steps can be helpful to take after a fire:
- Make an insurance claim
- Don’t disturb items that are covered in soot or are damaged
- Start to mitigate the damage if it is possibly to safely do so
How Can You Protect Your Business After a Fire?
Although it isn’t always possible to prevent a flood from occurring after a fire, there are ways you can protect your building after a fire. Using board up services can be one of the best ways to keep your building safe. Boarding up your building will help to deter potential thieves and can also protect the building from the outside elements.
What Are the Most Common Business Losses?
Ceiling damage due to roof leak in a Factoria, WA commercial building
4 Common Causes of Property Damage and Losses at Businesses
Business losses are often due to malfunctioning systems, such as damaged pipes. Here are four common causes of property damage and losses at businesses in Factoria, WA.
The most common cause of business losses involves theft on the part of employees or customers. Although these losses can be frequent, they tend to cost business owners less than property damage.
2. Water and Freezing
Water damage can result from damaged pipes, leaking pipes, or problems caused by below freezing weather. Damage that results from plumbing problems may be covered by a general business insurance policy. Some types of water damage, namely flooding, could require additional coverage. The average cost to fix this type of damage is approximately $17,000.
3. Wind and Hail
Wind and hail can result in roof damage. In addition to the considerable expenses involved in roof repairs or replacement, leaks can also lead to internal damage and increase the risk of mold growth. Damage caused by high winds or storms is usually covered by standard business insurance policies as long as an owner maintains records of property upkeep and can prove that negligence was not a factor. The average cost of these types of damage is around $26,000.
Fire damage is one of the most expensive business losses. Depending on the severity of a fire, it may be necessary to rebuild substantial portions of a structure. Some building materials and contents may need to undergo restoration. The average cost of remediating fire damage is $35,000.
Business insurance provides protection against many losses and can limit the liability of business owners. It is important to regularly assess the amount and types of coverage that a business carries. Owners should be prepared to file a claim in the event of relatively minor occurrences such as damaged pipes or any other loss or disaster in Factoria, WA.
Should You or Should You Not Invest in a Flood Policy? That Is the Question
Flood damage in Eastgate,WA
Your business is your livelihood, which is why no measure should be too small or too great to protect it. While a flood policy is only required if you operate in a high-risk flood area, such commercial insurance might be worth your while even if neither condition exists. Even with minimal coverage, you will be covered for an amount equal to your Eastgate,WA, property's restoration costs or to the maximum limit of coverage offered by your policy — two options that are better than no coverage. That said, if you live in an area prone to flooding, you may want to invest in more than the minimum amount of coverage, just to be safe.
When a Commercial Flood Insurance Policy Is Necessary
Depending on where you live, the question of whether or not you should invest in commercial insurance for flooding may be a moot point. Federal and state laws require business owners to invest in a flood policy if the following factors exist:
- The mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the building is located in an area with special flood hazards
- You operate in an area prone to extreme flooding
- Your lender, insurer or other regulatory agency requires you to have a flood insurance policy
If one or more of the aforementioned factors exist, you are required to invest in flood coverage.
Where To Find Flood Coverage
There are several resources to which you can turn to find flood coverage for your Eastgate,WA, commercial building. FloodSmart.gov and the National Flood Insurance Program provide lists of insurers that provide such coverage. FEMA also offers plenty of resources as well as additional assistance if one's policy is not enough to cover the cost of damage.
While a quick Google search can yield the results for which you're looking, you can also contact your local flood remediation team for advice. It should be able to point you in the right direction and help you find the commercial insurance you need to protect your building and your business.