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“You won’t see it emphasized on the nightly news when a disaster hits, but water damage can represent potentially huge disasters for businesses and building owners and operators,” said Lauren Reid, general manager for MCS. “Water damage can mean much more to a business than just wet and soggy carpets.
“There are other common, more significant problems businesses face when water wreaks havoc on property, such as indoor air quality problems. Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp, humid environments, leaving behind an unpleasant smell that permeates floors, walls, and ceilings, even after the water has been removed. It can also create health problems for employees.” Reid added that total building reconstruction of buildings is often the only option when standing water threatens the building integrity, not to mention the loss of expensive equipment. MCS recommends two critical steps to minimize water damage:
1. Act fast to assess the situation.
2. Control the environment within the building.
ACT FAST“The absolute first step to take is fast action,” Reid added. “Damage resulting from water and flooding is very progressive. The longer thew water flows or wet conditions are allowed to exist, the greater the recovery problem becomes. A water damage consultant must come in immediately to survey the situation [i.e. MCS water damage recovery professionals].”
CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENTReid suggested that the most effective way to control relative humidity, temperature, and air circulation in a high-moisture environment, especially a large facility, is to employ professional disaster drying that combines air movers with desiccant dehumidifiers.
“Disaster drying often eliminates the need to rip out and replace walls, carpet, floor covering, hardwood floors, and the building structure, which can be a huge expense,” Reid said. “On top of that, you preclude the odors and staining caused by mold and mildew.
“These problems can come back to haunt you weeks later in a superficially dried building.”
BEST DEFENSE: DISASTER RECOVERY PLANReid added that in order to minimize damage and costs, companies need to think ahead and what to do in a water damage event and contact a water damage expert to create a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). She said a DRP can limit the extent of water damage occurrences by defining and prioritizing the recovery of areas within a facility and stating immediate next steps.
Publication date: 06/25/2001