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Church Water Damage Preparedness and Education
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Like any residential or commercial structure, churches are also susceptible to damage by water or flooding. What makes water damage a bigger threat for churches is the fact that they are so often unoccupied for extended periods, meaning that any leak or spill has the opportunity to grow and expand and cause additional damage before it is finally discovered and remediated. Water has the power to damage or destroy computers, hymnals, pews, and sound systems, as well as delaying worship services and other activities for weeks or even months.
Tips for Minimizing Your Water Damage Threat
During the winter months, turn down the heat to conserve energy, but keep the temperatures in all buildings at least 50 degrees in order to avoid freezing. You should also inspect the attics and other similar areas to make sure there is adequate insulation.
If buildings are going to remain unused for a prolonged time, drain the water from the pipes and use anti-freeze in drainage traps. Keep a close watch on these buildings during this time as this will help you to locate and take care of any problems which may occur before they have the chance to grow and cause major damage.
If your church has a baptistery, stay with it when it is being filled up. If a drainage problem occurs, you can be on top of it immediately. Water lines serving the baptistery should be checked for leaks and any overflow pipes should be kept clear and free of any obstructions.
Because of the number of bathrooms located throughout church structures, each toilet should also be checked regularly to make sure they are not clogged or in danger of overflow. This can be best done before people begin arriving for services, allowing plenty of time for correction of any problems or clogs that may be discovered. Toilets not functioning properly should be clearly marked with signs prohibiting their use.
If the church makes use of sump pumps or other similar devices, make sure there is a backup and that the whole system is properly maintained and in good working order. If there are lower floors that have a history of flooding or other water problems, make sure that vulnerable items are properly stored at higher elevations in order to prevent damage. The church may want to refrain from carpeting these areas or remove any carpet already installed. It is far easier to dry a solid surface than to have to deal with wet carpet and padding.
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