Commerical Services – Fire, Water & Mold

Commercial water damage desicant trailer Baltimore Philadelphia Washington DCCommercial Buildings Water Damage and Flood Restoration

Building and commercial properties have water damages. The water damages are caused by sprinkler heads that leak and bust, toilets that over flow, pipes that burst, and upset employees that break stand pipes that deliver water to the building among major storm water restoration.

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Commercial water damage has many different issues than residential home water damages, some of the issues are listed below.

The first big issue is the equipment being used and how much equipment being used. To demonstrate let’s create an example water damage restoration situation in a commercial building.

It’s two o’clock in the morning on a Saturday and a valve on a pipe broke sending 100’s and 100’s of gallons of water flowing down 5 floors. It’s 2 in the morning, no one is around and so flooding is massive.  Ceiling tiles are crashing down on the floors and creating a mud like substance. The water has saturated the carpets and in many areas there are large puddles of water . Beyond the wet carpet there are bigger issues such as water damaged computers , electronic equipment and wet walls.

water damage, commercial, flood restoration, property manager,The first issue is extracting all that water. Without having enough extraction equipment on hand at two clock in the morning creates not only a difficult situation, but it also creates a frustrated property manager. The other water extraction issue is the proper extraction equipment. Most cleaning services and carpet cleaners are not equipped with heavy duty extraction equipment. The issue with this concept is time. Property managers and building engineers want to get things cleaned up before the tenants arrive. Non trained clean up companies will actually drag on the process due to lack of preparedness and little actual experience. Although this may be a difficult task, well organized and well equipped water damage restoration companies have years of commercial water damage experience and like a well trained army can create chaos into a well managed situation in a shorter time.

The second issue that should be addressed is removing or lifting up desks, file cabinets, and other items sitting on the floor. When the furniture sits on the wet carpet two  things happen. One  is that the furniture desks and other item will absorb water and either create rust on the carpet or absorb the water ruining the furniture. The second problem is odor, mold and bacteria growth. By not lifting the items up, it does not allow the carpet underneath to dry. The wet carpet or wet floor underneath the office furniture will be a feeding ground for mold and bacteria. The off gassing of the reproduction of the mold and bacteria  is the odor you smell.

The third issue is correctly drying the carpet and walls. Inexperienced water clean up companies and carpet cleaners use what they believe is the best solution to drying the water damage to prevent mold growth. Most cleaning companies and carpet cleaners have some air movers and dehumidifiers. But the building management need is to quickly dry the wet areas and prevent mold issues. The question is how many air movers and how many dehumidifiers are actually needed. Too few pieces of drying equipment ( air movers, dehumidifiers, etc. ) and the water damage situation will not dry quickly or will dry enough causing mold growth damage. Too many pieces of drying equipment and property management will be extremely upset that they were taken advantage of. The answer is to have a bench mark or national guidelines to determine what is necessary to correctly solve the issue. That “ bench mark” is called the IICRC S500 guidelines. The IICRC S500 guidelines describe exactly how much equipment to use and how long to use it. The guidelines are accepted by all restoration companies nationwide and are used in many legal court systems. With this guideline, property management can actually play Monday morning quarterback and successfully argue with the contractor that the work was not done correctly or the contractor charged too much.

The fourth issue is correctly testing where moisture is that creates mold issues. Many property managers will see water damage restoration companies using moisture testing equipment and believe that everything is dry. Sadly most water damage restoration companies do not follow the IICRC S500 Guidelines correctly even though they will promise they will. The one rule that is always missed is using the Grains Per Pound  ( GGP ) rule. This rule is so important that many court cases involving mold growth after a water damage are lost by restoration companies due to the fact that the GGP moisture readings were not taken. The problem is that commercial property management companies will also get dragged in the law suit when mold is involved.

To correctly prove that a water damage was correctly dry and to show due diligence, the water damage clean up company must take moisture readings that include Grains Per Pound ( GGP ) readings.

Fire walls and insulation are big problems if they are not addressed during a water damage. Fire walls are walls that are usually double thick drywall. Water damage restoration companies not knowing if the walls are fire walls will test the moisture in a wall not realizing that they are only testing the first section of the fire wall. The second layer of the wall is ignored and being wet will grow mold. Insulation many times is avoided due to lack of understanding of building construction and how moisture hides. Insulation will absorb water and hold onto that water for weeks maybe months. Insulation may also have a foil backing creating a barrier to prevent drying . Both of these issues will create a breading room for mold. To solve this issue , your contractor should know where ( or ask where ) the insulation is in the building  and remove the insulation. Without removing the wet insulation, you will create mold issues.

Let’s not forget drying the walls. Drywall can be missed by inexperienced cleaning companies because by looking at the walls the walls look fine and dry. But with moisture reading equipment , moisture can be found in walls in a majority of commercial water damage situations.

There are many other techniques and commercial water damage tasks that need to be addressed such as drying electronic equipment , drying walls techniques , etc. Those and many other commercial water damage issues will be discussed in part two.

Additional and more detailed information may be obtained by calling the number at the top of the page for emergency service or for non emergency calls please use our Contact Form.

SI Restoration offers Commercial services for Water Damage, Fire Damage, Hoarding Clean Up, Mold Removal, and Crime Scene Clean Up. Please give us a call at anytime.