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Flooding damage: what to expect during the salvage and restoration process

By Garrett Freeman.

Building facility managers wear many hats. In addition to focusing on the maintenance and operational aspects of a building, you may also be in charge of controlling safety-related issues and helping ensure business continuity while property damage restoration procedures are underway. If it is necessary to move the business and its staff to a recovery site or a temporary worksite after a flood or storm, it is important for you to know the property and water damage restoration processes. This helps assure a quick recovery and provides peace of mind.

Property damage restoration steps after a flood

When water damage is involved, time is of the essence in restoring a building and its contents. Instead of tackling water damage restoration in-house, call the professional remediation service listed in the emergency disaster plan right away. The experts may tell you how to safely start the drying process as you wait for the technicians to arrive.

When the pros arrive, you can expect the following:

  • Documentation: The technicians may take photos or record a video of the damage before they begin their work, as well as during the remediation process. You can often use the documentation for any claims that the business files.
  • Safety inspection: An expert will examine the building to see if the water damage compromised its structural integrity. If necessary, the restoration company may need to fortify the structure before beginning the cleanup process.
  • Building drying and restoration: The best technicians know how to dry out buildings using climate control solutions to ensure the greatest safety and as little disruption as possible by employing tailored drying solutions for different materials. Depending on the extent of the water damage, the technicians may recommend the replacement of items like upholstered furniture and flooring. In addition, they may also remove gypsum boards and insulation from affected wall to allow the insides of the walls and wall studs to dry.
  • Mold remediation: Eradicating and preventing mold, mildew, yeast and bacterial growth is part of the water damage restoration process. Professionals will often use a dry fogging technique and tools such as air filtration devices and vacuums with HEPA filters.
  • Document cleaning and restoration: Professional restoration companies have the ability to clean, dry and restore documents like books, paper, photographs, x-rays, blueprints and film. They will implement custom solutions based on the type of document and the extent of the damage. The document restoration process begins with cleaning, using various drying techniques—such as dry sponges or HEPA vacuums—to prevent further damage. The drying process follows with state-of-the-art techniques such as vacuum freeze drying and desiccant air drying. Should security or access to your documents be a concern, technicians can also work onsite or in a high-security facility rather than performing these services at their own document restoration facilities.

When managing a building, safety is your top priority. By entrusting property damage restoration to a professional service after a storm, you can have peace of mind knowing that your building will be operational as soon as possible and that all who enter the restored facility are safe from the hazards that water damage can pose.

Garrett Freeman is the managed property director at Polygon US Group, a global property damage restoration firm. In addition to restoration services, Polygon works with businesses to establish disaster preparedness plans through its Code Blue program.

•Date: 14th January 2014 • US/World •Type: Article • Topic: BC: facilities & buildings

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