One of the most common sources of damage to properties is moisture. From flooding and storm damage to burst pipes and leaky roofs, the problems caused by water can be immense. It’s a smart approach to be ready to tackle such issues. When you know what steps to take, water damage restoration can be a more manageable process. You’re likely to recover faster when you know what to do, and act fast to protect your home or commercial building.
Our team at Trilink Restoration Services helps homeowners, residential property managers, and commercial property owners get back on their feet fast after a disaster strikes. We help you recover quickly and return to normal life by providing immediate response, high-tech restoration solutions and more.
Whether you need water damage restoration right now, or whether you’d like to put a plan in place in case of disaster, here are essential steps to tackling water damage.
Before the Disaster Strikes
The best way to deal with a disaster is to plan ahead. These suggestions can help.
1. Prepare Ahead of Time
In Oklahoma, floods, tornados, hail and other disasters hit commercial and residential buildings every year. Planning ahead for such situations can mitigate damage and save time, hassle, and monetary loss. Creating a residential emergency restoration management plan (RERM) or a commercial emergency restoration management plan (CERM) with a trusted restoration company is a smart approach, especially if you own or manage a large property.
2. Understand Your Responsibilities
Commercial and rental property owners and managers should understand the legal obligations to tenants and others who can be affected when emergencies occur. Just being aware of the liability factor can help you ensure everything is in order, documentation and insurance policies are in place, and emergency response plans are covered should flooding or other crises occur.
3. Recognize the Sources
Knowing what could cause water damage can help you be prepared to lessen damage or sometimes even avoid it in the first place. Have proper protections in place for the following sources of water damage:
- Severe thunderstorms
- Roof leaks
- Broken pipes
- HVAC issues
- Public and private sewage leaks
- Being near rivers, creeks, and lakes
- Fire — the water used to put out fires can create water damage
- Mold — often results from excess moisture on property
4. Provide Written Documentation
Make sure maintenance crews, management personnel, and tenants have adequate emergency checklists. Include information such as who to notify when problems arise, evacuation routes, who handles evacuation tasks, and first aid tips. Liability and safety concerns are always best addressed before a disaster occurs.
After the Disaster Strikes
Even the best of plans can’t guarantee you’ll never face a property disaster. If you’ve received moisture damage, take steps to help make water damage restoration a more effective process for your property.
1. Ensure Everyone’s Safety
The first step to take if water damage is occurring or has occurred is to make sure people and property are as safe as possible.
- Evacuate everyone to a place of safety to avoid issues like exposure to unhealthy water or loose electrical wires.
- Turn off the water supply to stop the risk of further flooding.
- Turn off the electricity to the property to prevent a fire from breaking out.
- Don’t wade into any water without dressing in proper protective gear, because accidental exposure to pollutants or bacteria can make you sick.
2. Assess the Situation
Quickly take steps to determine where the water damage came from, how severe it is, and what needs to be done immediately to stop further damage. Consider:
- Where is the moisture coming from — a leak, broken pipe, damaged window frames, etc.?
- How much damage is there? Do you have knee-deep water in your basement? Wet carpets? The worse the damage, the smarter it is to invest in professional restoration assistance.
- What is the condition of the water? Is it clean water? Is it the gray and somewhat dirty water that comes from a backup of your dishwasher or washing machine? Or is it black, extremely dirty water, such as sewage? The dirtier it is, the more of a health hazard it is, and the more you need pros to clean it up properly.
3. Remove the Water
Once the water source is stopped, it’s time to start drying things out. Addressing and stopping the damage within the first 24-48 hours is the best way to minimize the effects of the disaster and start the process of getting your property back to normal.
Call on a water restoration company like Trilink as soon as you can for help. Professional restorers have specialized tools to remove water safely and quickly. They can also help disinfect surfaces and take steps to prevent mold growth, which can ruin a property if not addressed.
4. Salvage Valuables
Remove any personal property, furniture, electronics, art, and similar items from the affected area. Evaluate everything so you can begin to try to save what you can. Again, a pro team of property restorers can make this process easier. At Trilink, for example, we have specialized, state-of-the-art equipment that makes it possible to restore more than you might realize.
5. Create a Next Steps List
In the aftermath of a disaster, there’s always plenty to take care of in order to prepare your residential or commercial property for use again. Once the initial disaster response is underway, make a list of further actions to take, including:
- Contact insurance company and start the claims process
- Repair broken power lines
- Clean up hazardous materials
- Remove fallen trees and other debris
- Perform structural inspections before tenants return
- Make other needed repairs to restore a safe environment for living and working
Invest in a Residential or Commercial Emergency Restoration Management Plan
Having the right plan in place before water damage can get you back on your feet fast. A commercial emergency restoration management plan (CERM) or residential emergency restoration management plan (RERM) makes a huge difference. Contact us today to learn more about how our CERM and RERM plans can give you peace of mind about your property.