Water drips from the ceiling, covers the floors and puddles around equipment. It might be the aftermath of a severe storm or the result of a plumbing failure. From soaked inventory to ruined furnishings, it all seems overwhelming.
You look around, take in the damage and shake your head. “My business is flooded. What do I do now?” When you’re prepared in advance, it’s easier to manage the aftereffects of a business flooded by rain or burst pipes.
How to Deal With a Flooded Business: Your 10-Step Recovery Guide
You can’t serve customers, advise clients or do any kind of business with the building flooded. Structural damage, sewage backup and dangerous mold growth are just a few of the potential problems you face. Always put safety first as you recover from a business property flood with these 10 steps.
1. Shut Down the Utilities
Immediately turn off gas and electricity mains into your building. If you’re not sure about how to manage this vital safety measure, contact local service providers. If your commercial property flooding is the result of leaking pipes or a plumbing breakdown, shut off the water main too.
2. Contact Your Insurance Agent
Call your insurance agent right away, outline the extent of damages and set a time for the adjuster’s inspection. Keep records of all phone calls and emails between you and your insurer including names, dates and times.
3. Call a Restoration Company
Contact a water damage restoration contractor with experience handling all types of business flooding. Let certified technicians take care of water removal, structural drying, general repairs and mold remediation. Experienced restoration contractors help minimize business disruption, so that you can reopen as soon as possible.
4. Secure the Property
It might be days or weeks before you can reopen for business, so secure the property. Limited access keeps it safe and keeps your insurance carrier happy. If you need to board up windows, your restoration company can help.
5. Document the Damage
Take pictures and record video of all water damage inside and outside your flooded business. Make a detailed inventory of losses, add it to your documentation files and make printed copies. If possible, upload the information so that you can quickly share it with your insurance company.
6. Sort for Salvage
As you sort everything, don’t assume all water-damaged items are a complete loss. Restoration technicians can often salvage inventory, furnishings, electronics and paper records.
7. Save for the Adjuster
Even items that can’t be recovered need to be examined by your adjuster. Don’t throw away anything until he or she completes a property-wide inspection. From flood-soaked inventory to waterlogged furniture, you want the adjuster to note every loss and all damages.
8. Be Careful With Cleanup
If you decide to tackle cleanup on your own, be careful. Flooding in a commercial setting can leave behind contaminated water, unhealthy debris and raw sewage. It’s best to leave flood cleanup to certified technicians.
9. Get Fresh Air Moving
Open up interior doors, cabinets and drawers in all affected areas. If it’s not humid outside, open windows and exterior doors. The restoration teams will set up heavy-duty equipment that expedites the drying process.
10. Get the Word Out
Keep customers, suppliers and employees posted. Use social media to let everyone know about your temporary closing. Update the information as you make progress. When flood cleanup and restoration are finished, celebrate the milestone with a grand reopening.
Know Your Insurance Coverage
Our guide applies to flooding caused by plumbing failures like frozen burst pipes or faulty fire sprinkler systems as well as storm flooding. If you don’t have coverage for natural disasters, look into your options through FEMA’s flood insurance program for businesses. The agent who handles your business insurance can help with the details.
Know Who to Call
After any type of business flooding, even a small amount of water can shut things down indefinitely. Bringing in a restoration contractor saves valuable time. These are just a few of the services that quickly get you back in business.
• Truck-mounted pumping systems for fast water removal
• Structural drying that speeds up the recovery process
• Mold remediation to protect occupant health
• Whole-building air duct cleaning that restores fresh interiors
• Knowledgeable help navigating insurance paperwork
We’re Ready to Respond
After a business flood, you have to focus on minimizing losses and maximizing recovery efforts. Count on us for help. We provide expert commercial water damage cleanup and restoration services in Chicago and the suburbs.
We partner with business property owners, managers and tenants across the city. Our teams are always on call and ready to respond to your flood emergency 24/7. When you need to get the doors open as soon as possible, call us here at ServiceMaster by Zaba.