How to Spot Signs of Secondary Water Damage in a Commercial Setting
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains the signs of advanced secondary water damage and how to prevent it.
The commercial water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian know that a water damage disaster in a commercial setting can strike at any time with a sudden and dramatic impact, disrupting the provision of services or the production of goods at a business or factory. In contrast, a water damage disaster can also result from a slow leak in the sprinkler system or roof that goes unnoticed and unresolved for days or months.
What are the two types of water damage?
Facility repairs for a water damage disaster can be disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. Business owners, operations managers, facility supervisors, and property managers need to be aware of the two types of water damage. Both types of water damage create different challenges and should be resolved immediately for the sake of the business, employees, vendors, and customers.
- Primary water damage: This damage is the result of the initial water intrusion. Signs of primary water damage include wet or moist flooring, warped sheetrock or drywall, wet furniture, brown or yellow stains on ceilings and walls, and collapsed ceiling tiles.
- Advanced secondary water damage: When primary damage is hidden, neglected, or not completely resolved, advanced secondary water damage may occur. Signs of this type of water damage include advanced warping of walls and ceilings, bubbling or peeling paint, and significant staining and streaking on vertical and horizontal surfaces. Structural issues such as rotted wood support beams, black mold, and warped flooring are common.
What are the unintended consequences of delaying water damage repairs?
When water damage issues are left unattended, the consequences can be costly and dangerous. Business owners know the pressures of deadlines. Sometimes margins are minuscule. Customer service and on-time delivery are what win service or manufacturing contracts. Circumstances sometimes require working in and around water damage to meet customer demands. However, the potential negative consequences of laboring in an environment compromised by a water intrusion loom large for the employer. Consider the following consequences:
- Slip-and-fall accident resulting in a settlement.
An industry expert reported, “Commercial insurer CNA reports that between 2007 and 2012, the average cost of a traumatic brain injury in a general liability claim was $269,643. The average cost of a traumatic brain injury in workers’ comp claims was $259,153. Individual cases can be much higher.”
- Loss of raw materials needed in the manufacturing process. The introduction of moisture outside the production process can ruin the raw materials required to manufacture the business’s product line. A fifty-five-gallon drum of raw material may cost thousands of dollars to replace.
- Electronic devices in the office or on the production floor can suffer a cataclysmic failure when exposed to moisture or wetness.
- Production line equipment, forklifts, and delicate conveyor line sensors can be damaged by sudden, continuous, or intermittent exposure to moisture or water.
- Mold issues can corrupt product integrity and cause health effects. Commercial water damage restoration is a complex process. Business owners and those individuals tasked with facility repair and maintenance should secure the services of a reputable, qualified, and certified commercial water damage restoration company. If an incompetent company fails to fully resolve the water and moisture issues, secondary damage in the form of a mold infestation can occur.
Products contaminated with black mold and shipped all over the country could possibly cause infestations along the entire supply chain. The product liability nightmare could spell the demise of a small business, distribution center, or manufacturing unit.
How can these potential consequences be minimized or prevented?
Here are several best practices businesses should follow when dealing with primary and secondary water damage issues.
- Foster a corporate culture in the workforce that encourages early reporting and immediate resolution of any water intrusion events.
- Alert the pre-qualified water damage restoration company and schedule an immediate response. This step assumes a disaster plan is in place, performance criteria are in force, and a competent team of mitigation and restoration professionals has been vetted. This step also assumes that the selected company knows the facility and the parameters surrounding the presence of non-employee personnel in the facility. Corporate policy sometimes restricts the use of video on the grounds of or within the facility. Images and video may be essential for job performance verification, quality assurance, and insurance claims validation. A competent, experienced water damage restoration team will identify these challenges and resolve them before a fire, smoke, water, flood, mold, or storm damage disaster strikes.
- Do not release the water damage disaster team until the restoration is completed.
- Take steps to prevent any secondary water damage. Follow up with an inspection shortly after the restoration is complete to ensure mold infestation is not an issue.
These steps highlight the importance of working with a property damage restoration company that has the experience, training, and professionalism required to operate at the commercial level.
SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. The company is locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being centrally located in Ellis County means that the response teams are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.
For more information about Midlothian, TX, commercial water damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.