A flood in the office is something that no business owner wants to have to deal with. But if it does happen, here’s what you need to do to get it back to normal.
Don’t Enter the Office Until Permission is Given
Before entering the office, you need to make sure that it’s safe to do so. There are all sorts of dangers after a flood. The water might be contaminated, or there might be an electrical threat. That’s why it’s important to seek permission from the authorities who are in charge of securing the safety of the area.
The most important thing to check is the electrical supply. If the electricity supply is not switched off, you should definitely not enter a flooded area. The water can carry the electrical current, putting anyone who walks through the water at risk of electrocution. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Get help from an office moving company to help you move when you get the go signal.
Record and Document the Damage
When you finally do gain entrance to the office, you should have a quick look around and see what the full extent of the damage is. You should then take some photos and write down what you found when you entered the office. This will all help when it comes to making a claim on your insurance policy.
The reasons why it’s a good idea to take photos is that it proves what condition the office is when you found it. This proof could be invaluable later on, so don’t forget about it. The situation might change later on, and the water might be drained before the insurance company send someone over. So, the photos could be very useful.
Claim on Your Business Insurance Policy
It’s probably going to be pretty expensive to get your office back on its feet after a flood. That’s why one of the first things you need to do is contact your insurance policy and make a claim. They will be able to send over an investigator who will have a look at the flood and verify the claim. Your own documentation of the damage should help speed things up too.
Most flooding cases are pretty straightforward, and a good insurer will pay out on the claim pretty quickly. If the flood has affected other homes and businesses in the area, you should report it quickly to get to the front of the queue. The longer you take to report it, the longer it takes for it to get processed.
Get Rid of Damaged Technology & Electricals
It can be pretty difficult to salvage technology from a flooded office. If it’s electrical, the water will obviously break it. There are methods you can use to dry out small gadgets like phones. But this process doesn’t always work. And if it does work, it might not work for very long before the tech breaks again.
So, if you ask me, it’s a much better idea to get rid of the technology and replace it with new stuff. It gives you the chance to make an upgrade. And as long as you’re data is backed up in a safe location, you should be alright. There are lots of companies that recycle technology, so take your damaged computers and gadgets to them.
Pump Out the Water
The first part of the process of removing the water from the office is relatively simple. The standing water is what should be tackled first of all. You can do this by using buckets to get rid of the water and then use a pump to remove the rest. This can be done relatively quickly if you use good pumping equipment.
Once the standing water has been removed, you need to get rid of the water that’s absorbed into the carpet. You can get a professional company to remove water from the floor if you don’t want to do the work by yourself. They will use a specific type of vacuum that helps to lift off the water.
Start the Cleaning Process
Before you start cleaning up, you should get the right equipment. You’ll need a pair of gloves, masks, detergent, plenty of bin liners, and something to soak up as much water as possible. There will be lots of dirt and debris in the office, so it’s best to get rid of all that stuff to begin with. Get bulk office supplies so you will be prepared.
Alternatively, you can stay away from the cleaning process. Instead, you can hire an office cleaning company to carry out the water damage restoration work. They will know what they are doing, and they will probably do a better job that you’d be able to do.
Be Careful with the Heating System
You should have your heating system examined by a professional before you start to use it again. There are lots of problems that can occur with your heating system after a flood. If your heating system uses propane, kerosene or gasoline, you should also install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is unnoticeable, but can cause severe health problems if it starts to leak.
You should clean all the heating ducts to make sure that there’s nothing blocking them up. And when it comes to turning on the heating, you shouldn’t raise it above 4 Celsius until all the water has been cleared out. If you follow all those heating rules, you should be fine.
Replace Anything that Was Lost or Damaged
The final step to take is to replace anything that was lost or damaged during the flood. There will probably be lots of things that need to be thrown away. But the money paid out by your insurance company should cover most of the costs involved in replacing those items. But which things can be salvaged from a flood?
Some items of furniture might be covered in mould, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unsalvageable. If you get the furniture professionally cleaned and make sure all the mould is removed, you might be able to use it again. Any medicine or food that was in the office will need to be replaced though.