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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

5 Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Water Damage

9/5/2023 (Permalink)

water leaking from a pipe as customer worries water leaking

Leaking valves and appliances. Bursting pipes from frigid winter weather conditions. Plumbing problems…regardless of the cause, water damage can be a costly issue for your business.

Insurance claims statistics reveal that frozen, bursting pipes affect about 15% of small businesses. Water damage can wreak havoc on your carpets, inventory, and equipment. Water damage can also cause structural damage and mold growth. In more extreme instances, it can force you to relocate or close your business temporarily.

What can a business owner like you do to avoid a damaging water situation? Follow these 5 tips:

  1. Know where your main shut-off valve is. There is no time to waste if a water pipe breaks in your business. Make sure you know where the main water valve is located so you can get to it immediately. This will stop water from flowing to the building and prevent flooding until you can fix the problem.
  1. Keep the heat on inside your buildings and structures.  Your thermostats should never be set below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even when your business is closed or vacant. Keep batteries in your thermostats so they’re working properly, and make sure you keep the heat on sufficiently to prevent any pipes from freezing and bursting. 
  1. Insulate and seal exterior building cracks or gaps. Your ultimate goal is to keep cold air from seeping into your building, especially in the dead of winter. Even a small crack or gap that’s not sealed can cause your water pipes to freeze. Use caulk, weather stripping, spray foam or other sealants to make your building more energy efficient and keep the cold air out.
  1. Wrap or insulate exposed pipes. Any exposed pipes can increase the risk of freezing, especially during some of our winter nights in Wisconsin. When water freezes in a pipe that’s not properly insulated, it expands and creates pressure which can cause the pipe to burst. Bursting pipes can lead to expensive structural damage or flooding. You can minimize your risk by wrapping the pipes with inexpensive foam insulation that's available at most hardware stores.
  1. Keep your HVAC and sprinkler systems in proper working order. Regular inspections of your HVAC, plumbing, and sprinkler systems are important in preventing an expensive loss or cleanup. In fact, these malfunctioning systems are the leading cause of property loss in commercial buildings.

If Water Damage Happens…

Hopefully these tips will help prevent costly issues in your business. But should you experience water damage, SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County, Southeast Waukesha County is here for you 24/7—simply call 414-421-3500. Our water damage restoration experts are your best resource in an emergency. We have the proper equipment and training to extract water properly and return your business to the condition it was in before water damaged happened. We also have the tools to detect any residual water that may be trapped behind walls or in tight spaces, so you don’t have to deal with water damage and mold growth problems for years to come.

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