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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

If you manage or own a commercial building, you have probably dealt with water leaks and damage in the building before. While we tend to worry most about water damage during strong rainstorms and snowstorms, water damage can occur at any time. In this blog, we will go over the top causes of commercial water damage. By knowing the causes and sources of water damage, you’ll know where to look for water leaks on a regular basis and catch them before too much water damage has occurred.

Damaged Pipes

While many have heard of water pipes bursting from freezing, there are other ways water and sewer pipes can leak over time. Water and, especially sewer and drain pipes, can pit and rust over time eventually leading to small pinhole leaks. Pipes can also become loose or damaged around the connections leading to small leaks. While these leaks can hide behind walls and ceilings for a long time before seeping through and becoming visible, you can still regularly check the areas where the pipes are visible. When checking pipes and drains for leaks, look for a puddle or drips on the floor below the pipes. Look for condensation on the pipes which could be a sign of a leak or the need to insulate the pipes. 

Sprinkler System Leaks

Most commercial buildings have fire sprinkler systems. If the sprinkler heads are exposed, there is a risk of them being knocked and broken resulting in a shower of water raining down inside your business. But there are other ways that a fire sprinkler system can lead to leaks and commercial water damage. The fire sprinkler system usually consists of a large pipe that then feeds into smaller pipes which lead to the sprinkler heads. All of these pipes running throughout your business can be prone to damage over time due to the elements and the water inside the pipes. If you notice a pinhole leak from one ofo the sprinkler pipes, you will want to get that fixed before the hole gets bigger and the water damage gets worse. You also want to be aware of the temperature inside your building during the cold, winter months. These pipes can easily freeze and burst if a door or window is left open. It’s always a good idea to check all the doors and windows before leaving the building for the night. 

Clogged Sewers

Another common source of commercial water damage are clogged or flooded sewer lines around the business property. When the sewer lines flood or fill up due to a clog, the water seeks a way out of the sewer. This can be manhole sewer covers in streets or floor drains in a business. The water can also back up through the toilets in a business creating extensive water damage especially if it happens after hours. While you can’t necessarily stop a sewer from backing up, you can respond more quickly to flooding by installing flood alarm detectors in your business. When the detectors get wet, they will notify you that there is flooding in your business. If the storms are occurring during the day, you can have your employees keep an eye on the floor drains and toilets for any sign of a sewer backup. 

Roof Leaks

We’ve all experienced roof leaks. During heavy rains, is usually when we discover water dripping through the ceiling or down the walls from the roof. Rainwater can find it’s way inside through damage to the rooftop, cracked sealants around the external ductwork on the roof, and cracks between the roof and exterior walls. To reduce the chance of roof leaks, it’s always a good idea to check the entire roof before the snow season and the rain season. You want to look around the areas that have sealant and caulking to ensure there are no cracks where water can get in. You also want to look for any damage to the shingles or rooftop. By fixing any cracks or roof damage, you can greatly reduce the risk that you will experience any roof leaks during the snow and storm seasons. 

Melting Ice/Snow

Speaking of snow season, melting ice and snow is another source of water leaks. Melting ice and snow can cause leaks in three main ways. The first is when the melting water finds it’s way through cracks and roof damage like mentioned above. The second way snow and ice can cause roof damage and thus water damage is by the water from the snow and ice refreezing and causing small cracks to become bigger cracks and holes in your roof where water can easily flow through and damage your business. The last way is from snow and ice accumulating and causing a roof to partially collapse or fully collapse from the weight. 

Surface Water Flooding

The last most common source of commercial water damage is flooding from nearby creeks and rivers and low lying lands. As this water rises it can find its way to your business. At the very least, these floodwaters can work their way through doorways and garage doors around your business. If you have time, you can prepare for the rising waters by piling sandbags around your doors. The next step to take would be to buy a submersible water pump that can pump any water that gets through the sandbags back outside. If you don’t have time to use sandbags, you can try sealing any vulnerable doors with duct tape. The other thing you can do is to unplug any electronics and make sure they are on top of desks or shelves where they may be safe from the floodwaters that get into your business. 

Trust the Commercial Water Damage Restoration Experts

If you should suffer water damage to your commercial property, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to quickly clean up and repair any damage to your business. The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have years of experience dealing with water damage to businesses and homes around the Indianapolis area. They have the tools and know-how to handle any size disaster and are ready to respond quickly day or night. If your business should suffer water damage, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call.

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