The recovery process for a commercial building that has sustained water damage is a daunting one, and it’s likely to cause a considerable amount of stress for anyone who need to go about it. The best way to make the task more manageable is to tackle it step by step. Here we’ve collected a list of tips for cleaning up a business after a flood.
1. Prioritize Safety
The most important aspect of flood cleanup is the safety of everyone involved. Before anyone enters the area, you should do the following:
- Make sure the power and gas in the building are turned off
- Wear the proper protective gear
- Have the structure of the building assessed to ensure it’s safe to enter
2. Have the Water Drained
Any standing water should be drained before the rest of the remediation process begins. Depending on the volume of standing water, you may need to install a temporary pump system. As this task is an involved one, be sure you know how to follow the proper steps.
3. Document the Damage
For the sake of insurance claims, make sure to thoroughly document all the damage your property sustained. Take pictures of the damaged areas, and write out itemized lists. Keep any expense receipts as well as a ledger of any money you’ve spent during the cleanup process.
4. Remove Any Ruined Items
Unfortunately, some items won’t be salvageable—you’ll want to remove these before cleaning up anything else. It’s best that you remove any carpeting as well, as it’s likely to sustain mold damage, which will be difficult to remove.
5. Use the Proper Disinfectants on Hard Surfaces
You can clean most hard surfaces, such as wood and tile, with common household disinfectants. Generally, cleaners that contain ammonia will suffice. However, be sure to research which disinfectant will be best— depending on the state of the surfaces, you may need heavier-duty cleaners.
6. Have the Building Inspected
It’s important to have your building inspected before you take steps such as re-insulating the walls. Moisture that you can’t see may still be trapped in areas, and you’ll want a professional to give you the go-ahead before you reopen your doors.