What Can I Expect if My Building's Pipes Freeze?
A water pipe burst in your commercial building could cause devastating effects. During the frigid winter months in West Valley City, UT you're more susceptible to broken pipes if you don't take the proper measures to protect them before winter sets in. This type of disaster could cause extreme water damage to your building's structure and contents, which ultimately could mean a halt in your business operations until the problem is resolved. The key is to prevent your pipes from breaking in the first place, but there are no guarantees something won't happen no matter how careful you are, and then you need to know what to do.
How To Safely Manage the Damage
It can be beneficial to know what to expect and what actions to take if a pipe does break.
1. Shut Off the Water
First, shut off the water main as soon as safely possible. Then, it's necessary to drain the water from the pipes. To empty them, turn on each faucet's cold water. You should also flush each toilet a couple of times.
2. Turn Off the Electricity and Remove Electronics
Next, before you do anything else, turn off the electricity. If you have any electronics or appliances in the area plugged in, it's also essential to unplug them. These measures can keep you safe and prevent electrical fires. If you can't safely perform this action, call an electrician.
3. Find and Inspect the Broken Pipe
Try to figure out which pipe is broken and determine the type of water damage incurred. A visit from a plumber will probably be necessary.
4. Document the Damage in Detail and Call for Help
It's critical to document the damage in as much detail as possible. It will provide evidence for your insurance adjuster. This documentation should include photos and notes. Videos can also help significantly.
5. Eliminate the Excess Water and Moisture
All standing water and excess moisture must be removed as quickly as possible. Unless it's a very minor situation, you will need to hire water cleanup and restoration professionals. They have the industrial equipment and expertise to handle the job safely and efficiently. They can also repair the damage and perform a thorough inspection upon completion.
6. Remove the Affected Contents
You will also need to remove damp and wet items, such as furniture and paper. Soaked materials like carpet won't be salvageable, as it won't be possible to completely dry them quickly enough.
7. Dry the Area
The affected area must be dried as soon as possible. The longer water is left to sit, the more damage will be incurred. Mold growth can begin in the first 24 hours after the water intrusion. If mold takes hold, the cleanup process could be significantly more challenging. You can dry the area using dehumidifiers, heaters and fans. You can also open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate.
Broken pipes can cause disastrous results in a building. The water damage can be significant, leading to ruined contents and even structural issues. Hopefully, you'll never have to, but it's helpful to know beforehand how to deal with a pipe burst if you experience this situation in the future.