Floods can wreak havoc on your business, and on your health. Please be aware of the dangers of recovery.
Flooding and Water Damage; The Threat to Your Business
Next to a roaring blaze, a flood is one of the worst natural disasters to wreak havoc on your company. Water, like fire, destroys everything it comes into contact with, and when you’re in the business of doing business, the destruction can feel like a devastating misfortune. Thankfully water won't completely disintegrate your paperwork, office contents, and other equipment. Nonetheless, handling the damage and restoration can certainly feel like navigating a minefield.
How might a flood in my office or place of business begin?
- Natural Disaster (Flash Flood, Rain, Storm Surge, Coastal Flood, Hurricane)
- Faulty Structure (Pipe Burst, City Infrastructure, Neighboring Property Overflow)
What to do next? Crisis Control:
Safety is the first priority. If you walk into the scene of a flood, turn off all power to rooms affected. Walk carefully on flooded or wet surfaces. If there are any sagging ceilings, do not walk under them or turn on any overhead lights.
Next you’ll need to identify the source of the flood. If fresh water plumbing is involved, turn off the water supply. Either the main water supply valve, located inside, or the outside water main --the fire department can help you locate both, if needed. Not all water is the same, as water invades a space it passes through many sources and undesirable elements. Unwelcomed water can generally be divided into three categories, clean water, gray water, and black water. Black water being the most extreme or grossly contaminated by harmful chemicals and other waste.
Recovery is the name of the game in the aftermath of a flood. Polygon offers services within the areas of temporary climate solutions, document recovery solutions, and emergency drying solutions. All of these services will help you get things back on track quickly to prevent further interruptions in business.
A timely insurance claim is your next priority. Contact your insurance company to assess the damages as early as possible. Water damage is the second most common kind of small business claim. The sooner damages are reported, quicker the restoring process can begin. Often, quick timing is the biggest factor between salvaging belongings and documents, or having to accept further loss.
Restoring a space back to its original condition is the most time conducive step. Water often destroys building materials, including carpeting, paint, and drywall. If the issue is contained, there may be no structural damage. It is always a good idea to have a professional look at the bones of the affected space before completing any cosmetic fixes. This will ensure the root of this issue has been fixed and no further damage has incurred.
A flood can introduce dangerous toxins into a space that may not have been present before. Mold is the most common threat left behind by a flood, creating long term respiratory issues if left untreated. However, dangerous minerals like asbestos may be released by damage to infrastructure like drywall and insulation. Asbestos fibers may have travel into a space by way of the water. Unknowing exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma a rare but serious diagnosis burdened with low survival rates.
When you experience a water damage mishap, you need qualified help to put your company back to work as safely and quickly as possible. The difference in waiting just a few hours before you take action can mean hundreds, even thousands, of dollars worth of additional damages. Being proactive about the threat of floods can lead to savings on damage mitigation and lost business, so make sure to have an emergency plan in place for unexpected misfortunes like this.