If you only count dollars, the damage tops hundreds of millions every year. Add to that the loss of time, business and potential customers or tenants. When a winter freeze causes a burst water pipe on property that you’re responsible for, the results can be overwhelming.
Even the best commercial building maintenance routines can’t always prevent this disaster from happening.
Commercial Properties Are Vulnerable
The plumbing network that supplies a commercial building winds through spaces that are often overlooked when you’re insulating your property against winter cold. We outline some of these problem areas in our Ultimate Winterizing Guide along with steps to keep freezing weather from slipping inside exterior walls and interior crawl spaces.
When the air around plumbing hits a chilly 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water freezes inside the pipes, and that creates tremendous pressure per square inch. Weak spots and elbow bends in older plumbing systems are especially susceptible to ruptures caused by freezing water.
Water Damage Quickly Worsens
When a pipe bursts, water flooding through your building soaks flooring, drips through ceilings and saturates wallboard. However, frozen pipes can often develop tiny splits that aren’t detected right away. A crack as small as one-eighth of an inch can leak as much as 250 gallons of water in just 24 hours.
Whether you’re dealing with a sudden deluge or slow seepage, accumulated water causes structural damage and sets the stage for mold growth.
Many property owners don’t realize that mold develops in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to take quick action to minimize the damage and follow up with professional water restoration services.
Four Steps to Follow When (Frozen) Pipes Burst:
1. Turn Off the Main Supply
Don’t waste time trying to identify the exact location of a pipe burst. Every minute counts as water floods interiors, so turn off the building’s water supply at its main valve.
2. Shut Down Electricity
Wet appliances and equipment in flooded areas can quickly become electrocution hazards. Make sure that everything is turned off, and then play it safe by shutting down your building’s main power supply.
3. Address Recovery with One Call
Contact a full-service water damage restoration contractor right away. When property owners call us after a frozen pipe ruptures, within 90 minutes our teams are on-site to take care of repairs and start the cleanup process.
4. Document the Damage
It’s easier to deal with the insurance company if you document water damage by taking pictures of all affected areas in your building. We work with insurance companies on a daily basis, so if you need assistance preparing a claim for water damage repair, we will be by your side.
Your Trusted Partner
Every winter, we help commercial property owners and managers deal with the aftermath of burst pipes and flooding.
We understand what you face, and we offer a 24/7 response to your call. ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba provides expert water damage restoration for Chicago and suburbs, so fill out our convenient online form or call us at 773-647-1985.