My Building Has Water Damage – What Should I Do?

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: March 18, 2024

Dealing with a water-damaged commercial building is never easy. Whether you’re the owner or manager, you have to make important decisions. Time isn’t on your side. Closing off part of the property can be a huge inconvenience. An extensive shutdown costs time and revenue.

Are you ready to solve the problems that come with cleaning and restoring a water-damaged building?

Being prepared makes it easier to handle the worst. Let’s take a look at what you can expect.

What Is a Water-Damaged Building?

Property water damage falls into two categories: damage resulting from natural flooding and damage caused by a building’s water supply or plumbing system. Both can leave behind serious problems that define a water-damaged commercial property.

mold growth behind drywall of chicago building
Here is mold growth we uncovered behind the drywall of an office building in Chicago.

These are just a few examples.

  • Building systems and equipment affected by standing water in basements
  • Structural issues caused by water damage inside the building envelope
  • Water wicking through soaked drywall, baseboards, carpets and flooring
  • Ceiling damage resulting from plumbing or sprinkler system leaks between floors
  • Mold growth that develops within 24 hours of damage and spreads through the property

Is a Water-Damaged Building Dangerous?

Severe building water damage creates hazardous conditions inside a commercial property. For example, extended exposure to water compromises the stability of interior materials.

Drywall crumbles, wood framing rots, and ceilings collapse. Once structural materials lose strength, they pose a danger to everyone in the building.

commercial building ceiling water damage
Facilities that have sustained water damage can be very unsafe.

Utility connections are also a concern in water-damaged properties. Always proceed with caution. Bring in licensed professionals to inspect gas and electrical systems for safe operation.

The threats from airborne pathogens increase when your building is affected by sewage backup or natural flooding. Both types of water contaminate interiors and compromise indoor air quality. Mold is also a health concern in water-damaged commercial properties.

Can I Try to Clean Up The Damage Myself?

In some situations, DIY water damage cleanup is possible. However, think about these important factors before you take on cleaning a water-damaged commercial building.

  • The full extent of visible and hidden water damage
  • Possible dangers from utility problems and water contamination
  • The cost of rental equipment necessary for cleanup and restoration
  • Getting the job done in a time frame that doesn’t impact business
  • Your insurance company’s requirements for documenting water damage claims

Cleaning up a building after water damage easily becomes a very big project. It also needs to be taken care of right away. DIY cleanup can work, but be sure you’re ready to handle the job.

Do I Need to Call a Restoration Company?

Calling a commercial water damage restoration contractor is your best option for fast recovery. The advantages of bringing in professional water damage specialists quickly add up.

water damage professionals in chicago repairing water damaged building
Only certified restoration professionals can thoroughly repair a water-damaged building.

• Industry-trained technicians identify and address the source of water damage.

• They locate hidden water damage and solve mold and mildew problems using state-of-the-art equipment.

• Cleanup crews are fully equipped to extract water, dry out interiors and handle tear-out and reconstruction.

A certified restoration contractor tackles all types of water damage cleanup. From initial assessment to final inspection, your job stays in the hands of experienced teams. You can also count on restoration professionals to help navigate the water damage claims process.

Does Commercial Building Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Most commercial property insurance policies cover water damage from sources such as leaking pipes or faulty plumbing. However, you probably aren’t covered for problems resulting from negligence, substandard maintenance or natural water disasters.

You should understand policy details before something happens, so talk with your agent.

Dealing with a Water Damaged Property in Chicago? We Can Help

As well as you prepare, you can’t always handle property water damage by yourself. You don’t have to when you bring in Chicago’s commercial water damage specialists.

We’re right around the corner with the expertise you need to get things back to normal. You want the best.

Call us here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for emergency help: 773-647-1985

How long does it take to repair a water-damaged commercial building?

It depends on how badly the building is damaged. Small jobs can be completed in less than a week while large jobs can take as long as two weeks or more.

Why is mold a problem in a water-damaged building?

Mold spores quickly permeate porous materials and spread through ductwork. The airborne microorganisms compromise interior air quality and create an unhealthy environment.

Do I need a separate policy for commercial property flood insurance?

Yes. Commercial building policies don’t cover natural flood events. Your insurance agent can help you purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.