Water damage is a costly disaster, especially when it hits an office. It destroys expensive machines and vital documents and interferes with the office’s structural integrity. As a result, you’re left counting losses that can leave you bankrupt.
However, how fast you act and how you perform the clean-up determines the severity of the damage and how long you need to get back to the office. If your office has experienced water damage from a flood, here’s a cleaning checklist for a quick procedure.
1. Protect The Occupants
After being cleared to re-enter the office, the first step should be to take precautionary measures. Depending on the level of damage, the office might have experienced structural damage, and electrical wiring could have been exposed to water. These cases are hazardous and could turn fatal. It’s, therefore, vital to do everything possible to keep everyone safe.
Among the safety measures you can take is ensuring everyone entering the building is in protective gear. This includes a helmet, goggles, gloves, face mask, waterproof apron, and boots.
2. Watch Out For Electrics
Electrical appliances should be a concern after their contact with water. You should therefore handle electrical items like printers, computers, laptops, adapters, and lighting carefully to avoid shocks.
Switching off the power supply until the office is water-free is also vital. However, if you must stand on the water to switch off the electricity, hire a professional electrician trained in handling such a situation.
3. Locate The Water Source
Suppose the floods in your office aren’t a result of natural calamity. In that case, you’ll need to locate the water source and stop the water flow. If the plumbing is the culprit, turn off the valve to prevent the leaking. However, if you can’t locate the valve, shut off the water from the main water supply.
4. Dry The Water
After locating the water source and preventing more water from accessing the building, it’s time to begin drying. At this point, you’ll need to use pumps to remove most of the standing water. You also need vacuums and moppers to dry out the areas.
It’s vital to mention that depending on the office size, you might need the help of Water Damage Specialist. These professionals will dry the office quickly and thoroughly since they’re trained and experienced.
Even after draining the standing water, you must attend to soggy items to prevent further damage. Therefore, airing the office using fans and opening doors and windows will greatly help. However, you can hire professional drying equipment for a quick drying procedure.
5. Disinfect The Office
Extracting the water is one thing, and ensuring the office is functional is another. Floods are somehow contaminated; hence they’re likely to leave harmful bacteria on surfaces if not disinfected. That said, ensure to disinfect every surface to kill disease-causing germs and make the office a healthy working place once again.
6. Save Salvageable Items
Hopefully, not all items will be destroyed, and you’ll have a chance to save some. For example, working tables, chairs, and kitchenware might not be entirely damaged; hence can be reserved. However, you must clean and disinfect these items before drying them. You should also research how to wash and dry every item to avoid further damage. For instance, while you might only need to clean and disinfect kitchenware, you must dry wooden furniture thoroughly to prevent mold growth.
7. Toss Items That Can’t Be Saved
As stated, you’ll be able to save some items, but you must toss some, too. Not all materials can be saved after water damage. For example, upholstered furniture and carpets might not be salvaged after being flooded. Keeping such items will only encourage mold growth, harming the health of the office occupants.
However, as far as saving the carpet is concerned, it depends on the type of flooding and how long it was flooded. If the flooding isn’t highly contaminated, professional carpet cleaners can save your carpet and prevent mold infestation.
8. Check Mold Presence
After drying, cleaning, and sorting items to keep and toss, don’t forget to assess the office to determine if there’s mold growth. This step is vital since mold can cause severe respiratory issues among your employees, costing you more money due to absenteeism.
Suppose you discover mold, take necessary actions to stop the growth, and check the source of moisture encouraging it. You can also seek professional help to deal with mold since removing it can be challenging.
Dealing with a flooded office is heartbreaking. Many items, including electrical machines and important documents, are probably destroyed, leaving you wondering what’s next. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up. Follow the above-discussed tips for a quick cleaning procedure and slowly return to your feet. Protecting your office against water damage is vital to avoid future disasters.
Author Bio: Harlow Durand is a freelance writer who loves writing about all sorts of topics. She particularly enjoys tackling subjects about home improvement. Aside from watching HGTV, she spends her free time spoiling her two grandchildren with baked goods and plenty of hugs, tickles, and kisses.
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