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Office Building Water Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Restoring a water-damaged office can be a challenge – the building may be flooded; the furniture, carpets, equipment and structures may be ruined; computer and paper files may have been destroyed. The good thing is some items may be salvageable and the building itself can be restored and spared from further water damage with timely action and proper restoration methods. In this regard, it is strongly recommended to hire a professional water damage restoration company.
While restoration experts are on their way, there are several things an office owner/manager or staff can do to minimize water damage. First of all, if safe and possible, stop any more water from coming into the office by shutting down the main water source immediately. However, if the source is a break in the water main, it will be necessary to call a professional plumbing company for help.
Here are other recommended steps to be taken following water damage:
- Switch off the electric circuit breakers for areas of the office building that are flooded or wet, only if there is no risk of electric shock when accessing the building's power distribution panel.
- Open windows and interior doors to encourage air circulation.
- Extract as much water as possible by mopping wet areas/surfaces and wet wooden furniture.
- For wet paper documents, determine which are important and which can be discarded. Valuable documents should be spread out in an appropriate location to dry. Seek a document conservation expert for critical documents.
- Move to a dry and safe area any documents, computers, and other equipment and materials that are not water-damaged but are sensitive to moisture.
What NOT to do after water damage:
- Enter a room/building where there is standing water and potential risk of electric shock.
- Use radios or other electrical equipment while standing on a wet floor.
- Operate any water-damaged office equipment or switch on any electrical wiring.
Water damage is a time-sensitive situation so it would be very helpful, as noted above, if the company has a pre-loss service contract with a water damage restoration company or, at least, an emergency phone number for such a service provider who can provide immediate action. If this is not the case, locate one immediately after the incident.