Mitigating Water Damage Post-Hurricane

by Lawton Brothers | Nov 12, 2022

clean standards

Many businesses, as well as homes and public service buildings, got pummeled by Hurricane Ian. While Florida is no stranger to inclement weather, the most recent storm devastated a large path along the Gulf of Mexico and caused flooding across the state. Homes, streets, and lakes overflowed, and some roads remained inoperable for days. Naturally, there is a lot of concern about potential damage due to the large swaths of water. There are a number of steps you can put into place to help slow down current damage from Hurricane Ian and prevent future water damage. 

Remove Water and Excess Moisture

Move puddles of water away from buildings by creating channels for the water to navigate and sweeping it away. When the soil is eventually dry, you can consider adding a trench, grate, or other methods to divert water away from the facility and towards the sewer system. Check for excess moisture indoors, especially in crawlspaces, attics, or infrequently accessed rooms. If the room feels or smells wet, test for moisture and mold using a test kit. When you locate the source of the water, dry it immediately. If the material is porous and has absorbed moisture, you will need to replace it and will likely need to contact a professional. 

Document and File Insurance Report

Take photos of everything – the roof, doors, flood line (which shows the water level at its highest point), inside, and out. If possible, try to find pictures of spaces prior to the damage, to show the extent of it. For future reference, you can take a walkthrough video or photos every six months to a year, for documentation and insurance purposes. 

If your facility was impacted in any way, make sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. If you find that phone wait times are still a little long, you can opt to fill out a report online or use your insurance portal (if available). Make sure you know your specific policy and what is and is not covered.

Prevent More Damage

Cover up any leaking holes, board up broken windows, and prevent mold by mopping up excess water. Install fans, rent dehumidifiers, or turn on ceiling fans to help encourage quick drying and evaporation. Any money spent towards repairing or preventing damage should be documented and detailed for your insurance company. If you’re unsure if a purchase will be covered, you can always ask first if it is approved and has written verification that you communicated it to them. 

Need Equipment?

Whether you’re in need of dryers or extractors, Lawton Brothers have an array of equipment you can rent or purchase for your business. With over 75 years of experience in the janitorial industry, we’ve got everything you need to keep your business clean. Give us a call today at: 800.432.0813.

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