A leak in a business structure can be extremely costly. This might result not only in thousands of dollars in damage and repairs, but it could also result in the closure of your business until the destruction is repaired. To assist in avoiding the worst-case scenario, follow these suggestions from ServiceMaster of the Upstate for handling plumbing maintenance in your facility and ensuring that business can continue as usual.
Categories of Water Damage
There are three (3) categories of water damage, as designated by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They are:
CATEGORY 1: Clean Water
- Category 1 is the least severe form of water damage and does not pose a threat to human health.
- Broken water pipes and supply lines, as well as spills from bathtubs and sinks, are all sources of Category 1 water.
- The majority of items damaged by “clean water” can be quickly dried without causing any harm to the property owner.
- However, if not addressed immediately, Category 1 water can deteriorate into Category 2.
CATEGORY 2: Gray water
- Water from toilets, washing machines, and sump pump backups fall under Category 2.
- Gray water-affected items must be properly disinfected, as waste material and chemicals found in the water may be hazardous.
CATEGORY 3: Black water
- Category 3 water, also known as black water, is the most severe type of water damage and requires prompt extraction and disinfection to avoid serious health hazards.
- This water is teeming with microorganisms and is extremely unclean.
- Sewer backups, flooding, river or groundwater, and standing water that has begun to encourage bacterial growth are all examples of black water.
- If a home has black water damage, tenants must vacate impacted areas to prevent contamination from spreading.
Classes of Water Damage
- Class 1 – the least harmful form of water damage which may only affect a portion of a room or area. It has the least amount of water involved and materials absorb only a very small amount of moisture.
- Class 2 – this involves a large amount of water and can damage carpets or cushions. Structural materials such as plywood contain residual moisture. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves Class 2 water.
- Class 3 – the source of Class 3 water can come from overhead , such as sprinklers, and may require demolition. Water can saturate the ceilings, walls, insulation, and carpeting.
- Class 4 – this class of water damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, concrete, and other materials with a very low permeance porosity. This type is the most complicated and hardest to deal with and requires special water restoration and water removal procedures.
How to Prevent Leaks in Your Commercial Facility
Regular maintenance can help you avoid costly leaks and headaches for your business. The more proactive you are in maintaining healthy pipes and plumbing, the less likely it is that you will encounter a significant leak that forces you to close your doors. Maintain your plumbing systems by following these tips:
- Check pipes regularly. At least quarterly, a professional visual check of all pipes, faucets, toilet fittings and plumbing systems should be performed. This can help avoid plumbing issues from becoming a significant problem.
- Upgrade potentially risky pipes, faucets, and fittings on your commercial property. Upgrading outdated plumbing that is incapable of handling high-volume demand can result in long-term savings.
- Pay particular attention to your water heater and any fitted filtration systems. These systems can cause significant problems if they are not serviced on a regular basis. As with domestic water heaters, commercial water heaters require routine maintenance to avoid leaks, system failures, and even explosions.
How to Create a Business Emergency Plan
Small leaks are frequently easy to repair. However, if you do not discover them immediately, or if more major leaks occur in certain areas of your building, having an emergency preparedness plan in place can help you avoid costly damages. While creating your own comprehensive emergency plan, keep the following critical steps in mind:
- Formulate an action plan. If staff discover a leak anywhere in the building, they should be aware of who to contact, who is responsible for shutting down water valves, and where critical water systems are located throughout the structure.
- Create a list of emergency contact information. This list should be freely available to all building staff. Include contact information for plumbers, building managers, other tenants, water damage restoration businesses, and any other individuals you may need to call in the event of an emergency.
- Safeguard your data. To ensure that all assets are secured in the event of an emergency, business owners should have data backed up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based system.
- Determine off-site work locations. If the building must be closed for repairs, you may be required to work remotely to keep the firm going. Temporary workspaces and hours of operation should be communicated to employees and customers.
How to Deal With Leaking Plumbing
Maintenance and emergency preparedness are only half the battle. When a surprise leak occurs in your commercial property, acting promptly and correctly can help you avoid significant damage. If you find a leak in your building, follow these steps:
- Switch off the water supply to that location or at the main shutoff valve. This can temporarily resolve the issue until repairs can be done.
- Prevent access to and use of the place. Even small leaks from faucets or toilet fixtures can quickly escalate into significant problems, particularly in high-traffic locations such as commercial buildings.
- Make repairs by contacting your plumber. Utilize your emergency contact page to alert anyone who needs to be informed of the situation, and make every effort to get the plumber there as soon as possible.
Schedule an Appointment for Water Damage Restoration in Greenville, SC
- We are an IICRC-certified firm in South Carolina.
- We offer a FREE inspection and estimate.
- Call us at (864) 310-7891 to schedule an appointment.
- You may also message us online through our contact form.
- Our office is located at 170 Old Airport Road, Roebuck, South Carolina 29376.