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University Water Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Devise an Emergency Plan
In the event of water damage in a university facility or building, taking proper action when addressing the damage is the key to quick recovery. First of all, the incident should be reported immediately to the Facilities Operations, which would then notify the appropriate manager and maintenance personnel.
The following steps are recommended for facility or building managers in response to water intrusion or damage:
- Determine whether the building sustained damage from sanitary water (i.e., released from broken pipes or sink overflows) or contaminated water (i.e., sewage water).
- Determine and address any other risks in the facility resulting from the incident such as electrical hazards, lab/research-related hazards, hazards from damaged asbestos-containing material, slip hazards and injury risks from falling tiles and other objects.
- If hazardous substances are stored or handled in the affected facility, contact and wait for the lab manager to arrive at the site before entering.
- Make sure that all university personnel as well as contractors that will be cleaning up the site are properly trained and aware of the potential hazards of the job.
- Facilitate communication with the occupants of the building regarding the incident.
- Immediately address the source of water or moisture.
- Determine the extent of water damage by inspecting the area thoroughly.
- Start the cleanup as quickly as possible. It is ideal to complete the process within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Contact a water damage restoration contractor to assist on-campus custodial services for quick action.
- While waiting for the clean up team, make the flooring and carpeting more accessible by moving the furnishings to a dry location. Place plastic sheets under relocated wet items to protect the non-affected area.
- Apply an indoor-safe disinfectant to affected surfaces (i.e., floors, walls) to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Follow the manufacturer's directions. If a water damage contractor was hired, the team will take care of this step.
The specific actions called for during the cleanup and restoration will be based on the type of damage that the building sustained. For health and safety reasons, incidents involving contaminated water should be addressed only by certified personnel or contractors. The water source should be fixed first and the area cleaned completely before students, staff and all other occupants are allowed to re-enter.
Water Damage in Universities