If you've had a flood go through your commercial building, the first thing you need to do is get everyone out. Buildings can become extremely unstable following a flood. Once you're out, you'll need to take specific steps to get things back under control. Here are the most important steps you can take following a commercial flood.
Don't Re-Enter the Building
Once you've gotten everyone out of the building, it's important that you avoid going back inside. First, depending on the depth of the water, there could be electrical hazards inside the building, especially if outlets have been exposed to the water. Second, the flood could have loosened wall structures, which could fall once you begin walking around in the building. For maximum protection, avoid re-entering the building until you're given the official okay.
Contact the Fire Department
If you've got a significant amount of standing water in the building, you'll need to contact the fire department. They'll have the necessary equipment to pump the water out of the building. They'll also be able to get the water turned off if you've been unable to do that. In some commercial buildings, the water shut-off valve will be locked, or will require heavy equipment to turn it off. The fire department will assist you with that. Not only that, but they'll ensure that the electricity is turned off to the building, which will allow cleanup crews to enter the building safely.
File an Insurance Claim
As soon as you've contacted the fire department, and ensured that everyone is out of the building, you should call your insurance company and file a claim. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you'll be able to begin the cleanup process. If you've been given the go-ahead to enter the building, go ahead and take as many pictures of the damage as you can. You'll need to submit those to the insurance company.
Bring in a Commercial Water Damage Company
After you've filed your insurance claim, you'll need to bring in a commercial water damage team. They'll begin the cleanup for you by removing all your furnishings and equipment. They'll also ensure that any residual water is removed so that they can begin the drying out process. Expect to be out of your building until the entire cleanup is completed. Hiring a commercial water damage company will ensure that your building is cleaned thoroughly and efficiently.
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