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Church Water Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Churches may be damaged by water from any number of sources. You have the normal causes such as burst pipes, damaged roofs, or natural disasters such as flash flooding. But then there are elements that other structures do not have to deal with, such as water damage from baptisteries, which hold large amounts of water and may cause serious problems if they decide to over flow or malfunction.
The concept of water restoration in churches is the same as it is for any other building – the removal of the water from the property followed by the drying, cleaning, and repair of all surfaces that may have been involved.
Depending on the area involved, as well as the depth and severity of the spill, the water will need to be extracted from the damaged zone. Wooden pews that were immersed in water may warp significantly, so special care will be needed to treat them during the drying process. Padded pews present their own brand of problems, since it may be impossible to dry the padding out, at least not before mold becomes a serious issue. Pews may need to be repadded completely to avoid this problem.
Churches also contain many electrical components; not just the standard electrical system, but also the electronics powering the sound system, lighting, and other components. Electricians will need to be consulted and proper inspections performed before any electrical devices or systems are turned back on. It is important to remember that water may run for a considerable distance through ceilings or other areas before finding a spot where it can leak downward, so remember to be thorough when checking upper levels for signs of damage or wear.
Any classrooms or offices affected by the water will need to be dried out and all loose items removed for inspection, cleaning, repair and restoration. This should always be done away from the damaged area so that other restoration procedures are not interrupted.
Water damage to worship centers or auditoriums may be severe due to the amount of space involved. Carpets will need to be given special care to preserve their beauty and prevent unsightly staining, or worse, the growth of mold beneath the surface.
Parishioners should be prevented from entering the damaged area until all repairs are complete. This may mean relocation of worship services or other church activities for the duration of the restoration process.
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