Water damage restoration experts share that floods are the most common type of natural disaster in the country. Floods don’t limit themselves to just coastal areas or those vulnerable to tropical storms, every area of the U.S. is a possible flood zone. Any disaster restoration company will tell you that a flood and its aftermath can devastate a business. Is your organization flood-ready?
The Effects of Flood Damage
There are a variety of ways that a flood can affect your business, from burst pipes to a natural disaster. According to FloodSmart.gov, over 20 percent of flood-related National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims and 33 percent of flood-related disaster assistance occurs in communities that aren’t considered high-risk flood zones. In 2012 alone, the NFIP paid out over $1.2 billion in claims to policyholders affected by water damage. A disaster restoration company can help you determine the flooding causes that could affect your business and your risk level.
Here are some other flood-related facts to consider:
- After a major disaster, 25 percent of businesses don’t reopen.
- Up to 80 percent of business that don’t recover within a month of a disaster will most likely close their doors forever.
- If you have a 1,000-square-foot building, just 4 inches of flood water can cause at least $15,000 of damage.
The following are businesses losses associated with flooding:
- Replacement of doors, windows and flooring.
- Electrical and plumbing damage.
- Damage to interior wall finishes, wall insulation, drywall or paneling.
- HVAC system repairs or replacements.
- Office furniture repairs or replacements.
- Damage to electronic equipment.
- Damage or loss of client files, books and important records.
How to Avoid the Need for Water Damage Restoration
The best way to avoid the need for water damage restoration services is to create an emergency disaster and business continuity plan. Without one, 75 percent of businesses that experience a disaster are likely to fail within three years.
In your business’ plan, include the following precautions to minimize water damage:
- Keep copies of important documents offsite.
- Keep electronic copies of your files offsite.
- Clear debris from the business’ downspouts and gutters.
- Anchor any fuel tanks that you may have on site.
- Raise the electrical components in the building (e.g., circuit breakers, wiring, sockets and switches) at least 1 foot above the area’s projected flood elevation.
- Before a flood, move electronic hardware, computers, office furniture and other important items to an upper level of the building. In a single-story building, place the items on cement blocks that lift them at least 1 foot above the projected flood elevation.
- Have a plan to recover. Have the numbers for your insurance company and disaster restoration company on hand so you can call them immediately after a disaster.
Water Damage Restoration Solutions
Sometimes water damage is unavoidable. If your business experiences such an event, the following are ways that a disaster restoration company can help:
- Drying: There are a variety of drying methods that reverse the deterioration of hardwoods, plaster, drywall and other materials. Disaster restoration technicians perform tests to establish how long the property has been exposed to water and how deeply it has penetrated.
- Flat roof drying: Experts identify areas of trapped moisture and damaged insulation, and use a combined suction-pressure process to remove humidified air and water.
- Mold prevention and remediation: Several methods are used to prevent and remove mold, mildew, fungi, yeast and bacteria. Some of these include the use of disinfectants, ozone treatment, thermal dry fogging and wet fogging.
- Document drying and cleaning: Salvage items like paper, books, films, blueprints and even x-rays with processes such as desiccant air drying, vacuum thermal drying, air drying and vacuum freeze drying.
The time and costs associated with creating and implementing an emergency disaster plan are negligible when you compare them to the costs of a flood. Contact a professional disaster restoration company to create a preparedness plan for your business and keep their number on hand so you have professionals on call in the case of a disaster.
About the Author
This guest post was written by Polygon, a professional disaster restoration company serving businesses across the United States. One of their specialties is water damage restoration, which includes document cleaning and drying services for businesses that have experienced a disaster.