What to Do If Your Office Floods
If you manage an office or own an office building, the time to start thinking about flood control is now. It’s not when you see that storm warning on the nightly news or hear strange noises rattling through the pipes in the kitchen.
Floods can come fast and unexpectedly, racking up thousands of dollars in property damages in mere minutes. Not to mention the threats they pose to health and safety.
The first step in any adequate flood response plan is to prevent disastrous floods from happening. That means ordering regular inspection of your office’s pipes and plumbing and making sure to include leak inspection.
But leaks can catch even the most prepared among us by surprise. In the case that your office does flood, take these five steps to ensure the protection of employee health, office furniture, and valuables.
1. Take Precautions Against Electrocution
Before you step into a flooded office, consider the risk of electrocution, and act accordingly. Water and electricity are a lethal combination, and offices run on electronics. Electronics like desktop computers, printers, and power cords stay plugged in and running overnight in many office environments.
In the event of a flood, shut off the electricity to the entire building before you proceed into the office space. Avoid wires, and don’t touch anything electrical as long as you’re stepping on wet floors.
2. Turn off the Water Supply
After you’ve turned off the electricity, go ahead and turn off the water supply. If the leak is coming from inside the building, you’ll just have stopped it. But cutting off a leak’s power source is not the same as fixing the leak.
Even if you’ve cut off the water from running into the burst pipe or wonky faucet that’s causing the flooding, there may still be some excess water pouring out. Use the opportunity of that remaining water dripping out to locate the source of the leak.
3. Locate and Staunch the Source of the Leak
Sometimes, floods are a matter of a faucet not properly turned off or a faulty fixture that sealed a spigot into a wall. Once you find the source of your office flood, assess the scope of the job. Is it something you can fix with a screwdriver in a few minutes, or do you need to call in professional help?
Don’t overestimate your ability to tackle something as complex as plumbing. Let a professional leak detector or plumber conduct a full flood inspection after you’ve secured the area.
4. Get Rid of What Is Not Salvageable
Office environments are shared spaces. Aside from the tables and office chairs, the computers, food, and appliances all belong to different people.
But floods don’t discriminate. When that water comes rushing through, it will stain, soak, and tarnish everything in its path if it stands for long enough.
The first thing you need to do is notify all the employees of the flood damages. It may be helpful to create a spreadsheet of items damaged by the flood and how badly. Take pictures for insurance purposes so all can see the extent of the damages and dispose of what’s beyond saving accordingly.
5. Assess the Cleanup Job
Flood cleanup all depends on the severity of the leak. Whether it’s a multi-room or single room, half an inch of standing water or half a foot changes how long and how intensely you’ll need to clean.
One significant indicator of whether you should take the job on yourself or call on professional help is the look of the water. Is it clear water, murky water, or black water? The darker the water, the more serious a problem you have. You do not want to be wading around in sewage as it can increase your risk of waterborne diseases.
So if you can’t see your own feet in the flood, you’ve got a professional job on your hands.
When in Doubt, Call in the Pros
Cleaning up takes time, planning, and materials. You’ll need the proper boots, a ventilation system, sanitation supplies, and more. When a flood wreaks havoc on a shared, commercial space like an office, it may be best to invest in professional flood cleanup so that toxic mold can’t take root and spread, endangering people’s health.
When in doubt, you can call on the reliable, 24/7 services of All Dry USA. From preventative treatment through leak detection to post-flood clean-up and water damage services, All Dry USA’s full battery of professional-grade services will have your office clean, ventilated, and sparkling like new in no time. Call today.
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