Commercial Property Water Damage Do’s and Don’ts

Commercial Property Water Damage Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Commercial property water damage is a serious issue. How you respond in the moment could mean the difference between recovery and disaster. One of the first steps is to contact a DC water restoration company to help you with the cleanup process. Of course, this isn’t the only step in restoration. Here are a few tips to guide you through your first responses so you can achieve the best possible outcome.

Do Document Your Damage Immediately

When you notice water damage, reach for your smartphone. Immediately taking videos and pictures of the water damage can help your claim. Gathering proof of the extent of the damage (especially before you touch anything) can establish the condition of the building separate from your actions. Submit this proof to your insurance company when you open up your claim. This allows the insurance company to know that disaster really did strike; it’s not something that you did to yourself.

Don’t Rush Into a Flooded Area

If you see a flooded area on your property, don’t rush into it. One of the primary rules of commercial property water damage repair is to put safety first. When there’s a flooded area, it’s hard to know what is going on underneath all that water. Anything might have happened there. For example, catastrophic events could expose electrical wires or outlets, electrifying the water. There’s no way of knowing what you’re rushing in to.

Even if you know that the power to the area is off, there could be other potential hazards. Dirty water from outside flooding could be a biohazard. Chemicals, molds, and germs get swept up into the water. Wading through it could be like stepping in sewage! If you must cross a flooded area, take precautions. Don’t enter unless you have personally confirmed that the power to the area is off. If you have, wear thick shoes. High boots are best, as you want to reduce the amount of water that gets on you or your clothes. Remove your clothes as soon as possible once you’ve crossed the flooded area.

Do Cut Utilities

This piggy-backs off the last point: turn off the utilities. Cutting water and electricity to your property makes it safer for repairs crews to begin work on your commercial property water damage. Running water can make a leak much worse. Water pressure can also damage natural gas lines. Until you know that all of your utilities are safe to use, it’s better to turn them all off.

Don’t Close Your Claim Too Quickly

After commercial property water damage, it can take your business a while to get back on your feet. It’s tempting to close out your claim as soon as possible. Instead, keep things open until the professionals say you’ve done all you can. If you close a claim too quickly, you may lose out on additional compensation. You may not notice additional issues that present with water damage until several weeks after the initial flood. For example, mold growth often takes time to develop. As a result, you may end up replacing large items such as furniture, which you had considered refurbishing.

Commercial property water damage can be dangerous. Start by documenting everything and shutting down all the utilities you can. From there, professionals can work to remove water and restore items damaged by the flooding. Your insurance company may want you to close your claim, but make sure you’ve covered everything before you do.

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