What to Do if You Find Water Damage to Your Property
As a commercial property owner or manager, you have your hands full. With a never ending to do list, finding water damage to your property might feel overwhelming. But rest assured that SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help! We're available 24/7 with a fast response to any size property damage disaster.
But before we arrive, here are five steps you can take if you discover water damage to your commercial property. Taken immediately, these steps will help mitigate further damage and reduce the time and cost of repairs. Quick and decisive action also reduces your downtime, limiting revenue loss from unhappy customers or tenants.
Step One: Turn Off The Water Source
Flooding from rain storms can cause property damage. Yes, even in Los Angeles. But water leaks, from pipes, fixtures and HVAC units, are a more common cause of commercial water damage.
So when you find discoloration or dampness in your facility, it is important to find the source of the moisture. And if you can find, and turn off the water source, that can mitigate further damage.
Of course, some sources can be difficult to find. If a leak hides behind a wall or ceiling, you may need help finding it. A plumber specializing in leak detection has the training and equipment to find hidden plumbing leaks.
If the leak is from a sink or toilet, you should be able to just turn off the cutoff valve to that fixture. If the leak is a burst pipe or an unknown source, you may need to shut off the water main itself.
Step Two: Unplug
As the saying goes, oil and water don't mix. Well, neither do electricity and water. It may seem counterintuitive, but water damage can cause a fire. Even a small amount of water dripping on to an exposed wire can cause corrosion or increase the current. Both can heat the wire enough to start a fire if the wire comes in contact with anything flammable.
Did you discover moisture or standing water near electrical equipment or an outlet? It is imperative to unplug the equipment or turn off the circuit breakers to the outlet. But do it safely! Your body can conduct electricity too. Be sure to wear rubber gloves or boots if you must first touch or step into the water to disconnect the electricity. Or better yet, call an electrician.
Step Three: Take Photos
When confronted with a water damage disaster, it is natural to try and protect as much as you can. You do want to move furniture, important documents or other items away from the affected area as soon as possible. But you should document the damage first.
Photos and videos of the damaged area are valuable tools for both your insurance and restoration companies. Proper clean up, repair and remediation is dependent upon an accurate assessment of the damage. And that documentation could prove vital if there is a dispute over the cost or responsibility for it.
Step Four: Consult Your Insurance Company
As a property owner, you should always protect your investment from damage with an appropriate insurance policy. Hopefully your policy covers water damage. Regardless, and to be certain, consult with your insurance carrier as soon as possible following any disaster.
First, you want to make sure you don't do anything that might invalidate your coverage. Second, SERVPRO of North Hollywood works directly with most insurance providers. A direct line of communication between us reduces response time and the risk for miscommunication that might delay your claim.
Step Five: Call SERVPRO for Water Damage Restoration
What is the most important thing you can do to ensure your water damaged property is cleaned and restored "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood ASAP!
Our team of certified and highly-trained restoration technicians can be at your facility quickly. In a commercial water damage situation, every hour spent cleaning can mean lost revenue. Call us, and we'll take care of you and your property to get you back up and running fast.