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Water Damage in Warehouses
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Of all structures prone to water damage, a warehouse is probably the most vulnerable. Warehouses are large structures, usually filled with various types of inventory, with certain areas that may not see a human presence for weeks or even months on end. If there is a water damage problem, chances are that it may be able to sit unnoticed for an extended time, quietly causing damage and inviting the presence of mold, which can end up affecting the health of workers in the warehouse facility.
As with any case involving water damage, the best defense is always a great offense, which in this case means taking the time to go through the warehouse and inspect for any problems or potential issues, and fixing them before they have the chance to grow and become major problems.
Start by Inspecting the Roof
Warehouses by their very nature have extensive roofing space, which means more opportunity for the roof to fail. The roof needs to be inspected from the outside for any signs of damage or undue wear and tear. Repairing damage as it occurs not only keeps the water out, but also cuts down on the long-term repair bills.
Also, the roof may not actually be damaged, but you should still look for areas where water is pooling up in large amounts, as this will be a clear indicator that the roof is weakening and beginning to sag in that area. Roofs may easily collapse under the weight of enough water, and if that happens, you then risk serious damage to the inventory stored below.
Roofing leaks may also be determined by inspecting the interior ceiling of the warehouse for tell-tale water staining or discoloration. Remember that the leak may not be located above the water stains since water has the ability to run along pipes, wiring, and support beams for a considerable distance before finding a place to settle.
Also examine the floor of the warehouse for any signs of water or water that may have pooled up. Inventory may be stored on pallets that raise the material several inches off the floor. This is designed to reduce the chance that the inventory will wind up sitting in water.
Looking for Signs of Mold
Also, remember that water damage breeds mold. If you come across water damage that appears to have been there for a while, then it is probably a good idea to check around for signs of mold growth. It won't be hard, since mold has an instantly identifiable musty smell, and presents itself as a greenish black growth on walls or piping. Resist the urge to handle the mold, as you may inadvertently release spores into the air. Better to wait and call in a professional mold remediation expert.
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