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Warehouse Water Damage Preparedness and Education
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Warehouses are one of the worst places for water damage to occur. Either they are facilities that are only manned occasionally or they are staffed regularly, but the employees may only visit certain parts of the warehouse on an occasional basis. In either situation, water damage has time to establish and become a major problem and it is important, just as with any commercial property, to take the proper preventative and educational steps designed to head off any such damage before it occurs, or mitigating smaller problems as they are discovered, before they have the chance to grow.
The warehouse should be inspected on a routine basis for signs of water problems. A water stain on the floor is a sure sign that water has leaked in from somewhere above and a corresponding inspection of the ceiling and roof should follow. Check walls and supports for any signs that water has run down these structures. Many times water may get into light fixtures and cause lights to blow out, so examine any light fixtures for signs of water before just plugging a bulb in.
Walk the roof occasionally to check for problems, particularly after hard rains, snow, ice or hail. If you find damage to the roof, then repair it immediately. These problems will not improve on their own. Quite the contrary, they will only get worse and what starts out as an inexpensive fix becomes a costly one over time.
On the floor, standing water is a dead giveaway for water damage and it will need to be traced back to its source. In some cases, it may be a spigot or hose that was left running, while in other cases it may be something more serious like a burst pipe or malfunctioning toilet.
The structure of the warehouse is often not the most important consideration, however. The warehouse is used for storing the product or inventory of the parent company and this may be the very lifeblood of that company. Keeping the structure safe from water damage means keeping the inventory nice and dry as well. As you are inspecting the warehouse for signs of water damage, check the stored products as well. Any signs of damage to the product may be traced back to an identifiable source.
If the ceiling shows signs of water intrusion, move any product that is stored beneath the damaged area. Conversely, use pallets to elevate the product off the floor for a distance of several inches. This will protect the product should standing water become a problem.
By taking the time necessary to inspect for potential problems, then warehouse water damage may be effectively curtailed.