1. Safety First
Prioritize Safety: Ensure the building is secure. Hazards like falling ceilings or electrical risks need immediate attention. For any signs of instability in ceilings or walls, avoid entry, mark the area, and, if possible, lock it. Be cautious around water near electrical panels or outlets. In the presence of live electricity, consider shutting off power if safe. Engage a commercial water damage restoration company for professional assessment if unsure.
2. Stop the Source of Water
Address the Water Source: Identify and halt the water flow if possible. Commercial buildings typically have separate valves for different sections, allowing localized shutdowns without affecting the entire building. If unsure, consult the building engineer or facility manager. In cases of roof damage, seek a commercial restoration company for temporary roofing solutions.
Documentation for Claims: Before the adjuster’s visit, document the damage through photos or videos, capturing standing water and areas requiring demolition. This visual evidence supports your insurance claim.
4. Get the Water Out
Water Extraction: Start by removing water in its liquid state using tools like mops, squeegees, or wet vacs. Commercial water removal services offer powerful extraction tools for efficient water removal. As water saturates building materials, advanced evaporation and dehumidification techniques become necessary.
5. Start Dehumidification Before Evaporation
Begin Dehumidification: Implement dehumidification before promoting evaporation to efficiently dry your commercial facility. Avoid excessive evaporation which can lead to high relative humidity and condensation, potentially causing secondary damage and mold growth. Understanding the temperature, humidity, and dew point is critical in this process, making the expertise of a commercial water damage cleanup team invaluable.
6. Damage Inspection
Conduct a Thorough Damage Inspection: Use specialized tools for a comprehensive moisture mapping to understand the extent and severity of water damage. Tools like thermo-hygrometers and thermal cameras, alongside moisture meters, provide a detailed analysis, which is vital for effective commercial water damage repair.
7. Set a Structural Drying Strategy and Mitigation Plan
After the inspection, there should be enough information to create a plan or strategy. The plan should include at least the following;
Quantity of air movers or fans
Amount and type of dehumidification
What areas or building materials are wet, and the current % of moisture in those materials
The drying goal, or point at which those materials are dry
What materials will need demolition and when they will be removed
The estimated time frame of the project
The estimated cost of the project or at least the initial phases of the project
Several other items such as chain of communication and billing are important, But it’s paramount that the customer understands and agrees with the mitigation plan. There should be consensus before signing a contract. This will help keep the project on track and avoid future discrepancies.