— By Amanda Anderson —
Do you have a team in place to react and respond?
It is nine in the evening and the doors to your business are locked, drawers counted, shelves faced for a successful tomorrow. The day has just ended for you, but disasters don’t keep time. There has been a leak detected and it’s coming from behind a wall. The drywall is soft, and water is seeping onto the floor, drenching the carpet. It might be the end of day for you, but it’s the start of a disaster. What steps come next?
“In case of emergency” is often a statement we reserve for staff meetings and discussions among management. But are you ready to put those words into action? At the first sign of trouble there are steps that should be taken immediately. It is important to address the nature of the issue. In the case of the leak: where is it coming from? How quickly can the flow of water be stopped? What do we do after, when the walls are saturated, and the floor is soaked?
Do you have a team in place to react and respond to a prompt repair and cleanup?
Establishing a reactionary plan is crucial for getting the jump on disasters when they strike. Quickly getting a technician on-site to assess and address the problem is the first step. Next, how do you get the area looking good as new? It is often a matter of safety when it comes to recovering from a disaster, you and your management team are going to want to open your doors to associates and customers as quickly as possible. Taking these next steps can help company morale, as well as get customers back inside. When you take care of your store you also take care of your associates and customers!
Let’s look at the water damage caused by that leaking pipe. It is important to know what to look out for when assessing. How far does the damage extend? Will the wall need to be restored? Can the floor be dried? Were any products damaged? Getting the right team of experts on-site can help ease your worries, as they are trained to answer those questions. Water mitigation professionals are prepared to address the cleanup and drying of your walls and carpet.
In this case, a section of the wall had to be removed by a certified professional to access the leaking pipe. While inside the wall, the technician found evidence of mold. It can be deduced that the leak had been active far longer than when water damage physically became noticeable. Before the wall can be closed, the area should be tested for mold by a certified company in order to gain a better understanding of the type of and best treatment. A professional team of mold remediation specialists will have the proper detection tools, testing devices, equipment and protective gear to remedy the problem and give you peace of mind.
When confronted with any type of flooding, whether it came from a burst pipe in the wall or ceiling, from the sprinkler system in case of fire or from poor weather conditions, it is important that any type of water damage is addressed by a certified team of mitigation and remediation specialists 24 to 48 hours after occurrence. This will minimize the risk of serious structural damage and limit the potential for mold to grow or spread.
Here are a few quick reminders on why it is important to act promptly when a disaster strikes:
- Prolonging water mitigation can lead to structural damage and more costly repairs down the road, such as wall, roof, ceiling or foundation replacement.
- Improperly dried ceilings and walls can affect the electrical wiring, which can result in additionally needed repairs.
- Mold and mildew can spread rapidly and lead to health-related issues in your associates and customers.
- The appearance of your establishment can suffer; discolored walls and flooring often draw unwanted attention.
- Prompt attention shows your associates you care about them and the establishment, boosting morale that is often adversely affected by disasters.
- Allows for the swift opening of the affected area or entire establishment to customers to maintain a steady stream of revenue.
While the disaster at hand might not always been related to flooding, keep these helpful tips on hand:
- Connect with a professional that understands how to assess, contain, remedy and prevent any future damage.
- Understand the causes and effects of the type of damage; keep your management team and associates well-informed.
- Be ready to act promptly and remember the right type of professional team will ensure a speedy recovery of your establishment.
Disasters might not run on a schedule and are not limited to water damage. No matter the type of disaster, whether it be mold, fire, structural, roof/ceiling or water, it is best to be prepared. Remember, when face to face with an emergency that requires disaster restoration, it is critical to act within 24 to 48 hours to ensure the safety of your building and associates. Getting the right team in place can assure minimal recovery time, so you can open your doors and continue to welcome in customers.
— Amanda Anderson is production manager of Superior Facility Service Group, Inc., a family owned and operated company specializing in commercial maintenance and repair, bird control and prevention, and disaster restoration. For more information, visit www.superiorfacilityservice.com.