What To Do Following a Flood in an Office?
How do you clean a commercial building after it has been damaged by floodwaters?
The following tips from Rainbow International will help any business clean up its office building after a flood.
Water damage can be devastating in any environment, but an office flood can cause flood damage that is extremely costly to resolve. The time it takes to complete an office flood cleanup can cost a business thousands in lost time, so having professionals handle the water damage is highly recommended.
But how do you begin cleaning a commercial building after the flood water has caused water damage? Having restoration services handle the bulk of the work is the right way to save as much equipment and business property as possible, as well as reduce structural damage.
Rainbow International has helped businesses recover from an office flood for decades, and has developed the perfect process to get your business back up and running. So, if you’re wondering what to do following a flood in an office, we have broken down all the steps for you:
- Steps to take following a flood in an office
- Take precaution beforehand
- Air out the office
- Be wary of electrics
- Reduce the risk of fire
- Throw away uncleanable materials
- Restore items that are salvageable
- Safety First
- Disinfect The Office
- Industrial Fans and Dehumidifiers
- Hazards To Be Aware Of When Cleaning The Premises
- What Is a Flood Plan and What Should You Include In It?
- How Rainbow International Can Help
Steps To Take Following a Flood in an Office
The first step you need to take if you have experienced an office flood is to ensure the safety of anyone within the building.
There should be no efforts to remove any heavy furniture or appliances by employees, as this can be dangerous. Instead, carefully take personal belongings and any light work-related items such as documents and files.
Once this has been done, call in the experts. They’ll then take the following steps to begin the office flood cleanup and reduce flood damage and restore your business space back to normal.
1. Take Precaution Beforehand
The first step is to take precautionary measures. Structural damage and electrical wiring being exposed to water are common in an office flood, both of which can be severely hazardous to your health.
Whether the professionals are on the scene or it’s just you dealing with the initial flood damage, these precautions are vital to protecting your health and can be a matter of life and death.
2. Air Out The Office
Once any immediate dangers have been identified and dealt with, the process of removing water from the office can begin.
Draining any standing water away using pumps will be the first step, but once this has been done, moisture and sodden materials will be across the office. Airing the office will allow this water to evaporate and can be the process needed to save certain belongings and office equipment.
This is done by opening all windows and doors and using professional drying equipment. Rainbow International uses specialist drying equipment that includes high-powered, industrial fans to encourage a strong airflow throughout the building. However, if the water is sewage water, this should not be done until the area has been sanitised.
3. Be Wary of Electrics
Electrical items are a concern whenever there has been an excessive amount of water around them, or if they have come into direct contact with water.
Remain wary of the electrical appliances in the office such as computers, printers, servers, lighting or adapters. Any of these types of office pieces could become dangerous if they’ve been exposed to water.
Water is also a very good conductor of electricity, so it is important to be cautious when dealing with any water near electrical items. This is why it’s highly recommended to allow professionals to deal with the situation. From here, Rainbow International’s team can PAT test electronics before returning them to the fully dried and cleaned office, ensuring they work and they’re safe to use.
4. Reduce the Risk of Fire
Whilst it might not seem like an immediate issue, fires after a flood are not uncommon and can happen when the office flood cleanup is not handled with care and expertise.
Leaks and structural damage can provide fuel and ignition to any remaining parts of the commercial property, so do not allow anyone to smoke on the site of the flood and have the gas turned off by the main valve. We also recommend having the professionals inspect storage and piping systems that involve flammable liquids for any damage.
5. Throw Away Uncleanable Materials
Unfortunately, there will be parts of your business’ commercial property that won’t be able to be restored after a flood. Not all materials are able to be sanitised and restored, and can actually carry a risk of mould developing, releasing toxins and germs into the surrounding environment.
Identifying and throwing away uncleanable materials is the first step to restoring everything back to normal so you can begin work again.
6. Restore Items That Are Salvageable
Luckily, there will be items that can be salvaged from an office flood, and contents restoration services are trained in spotting these and restoring them to their original state.
By carefully taking these items out of the office into a dry area and using hot, soapy water to clean them of dirt and scum, some things will be usable again. Some pieces of the office may need specialist cleaning and will require further restoration.
7. Safety First
Safety is paramount in any workplace situation, and an office flood cleanup is no different. By having the professionals handle the situation, you will avoid any potential hazards impacting anyone unprepared.
Professionals will be able to identify hazards and work around them or neutralise them. They will also have access to safety equipment to protect them from these hazards. This can include things such as protective clothing, masks and goggles to protect eyes, ears and nose, and gloves.
8. Disinfect The Office
The office will then need to be disinfected before it can be aired out. By cleaning out the office with anti-bacterial cleaning products and sterilising the area, you’ll be able to be clear of future problems caused by bacteria that has become set into the office space.
With any type of moisture, mould is a concern if the cleaning of the area has not been done properly. It’s not just an ugly sight, but it can also cause serious damage to a person’s health if they’re around it.
9. Industrial Fans and Dehumidifiers
Once the office has been sanitised, the area can be fully dried out with the use of professional drying equipment such as industrial fans and dehumidifiers. By having a strong air flow encouraged throughout the whole of the affected area, you will be able to evaporate any of the remaining moisture leftover in the space, further reducing the chances of mould developing, and clearing the space of a musty smell.
This step can only be done once the sanitation is complete, otherwise you run the risk of spreading mould spores and bacteria even deeper into the office.
Hazards To Be Aware Of When Cleaning The Premises
Having professionals handle an office flood isn’t just for the benefit of your belongings and your business operations, but it’s also the best way to keep everyone safe.
Flood waters can be home to germs and diseases, along with chemical hazards that can cause irritation to the skin, and more serious illnesses if they get in contact with eyes, mouths or noses.
Other hazards that are key to be aware of when dealing with an office flood cleanup includes rats and other animals. Some animals will nest in the walls of a building, or nooks and crannies. Once the water has disturbed them, their droppings and urine may have washed through the office space.
Electrical items, gas appliances and materials potentially made of asbestos are also hazards that need to be considered and need specialist attention. Standing flood waters can also spread infectious diseases, contain chemical hazards, and cause injuries.
What Is a Flood Plan and What Should You Include In It?
Flood plans are incredibly important for any business that operates out of a premises, and will be vital to taking immediate action in the event of a large amount of water entering the office.
A flood plan should include contacts you need such as insurance companies, flood restoration services and utility providers. There should also be a trigger for action in which specific steps are taken and a list of items you need if it floods, such as vital documents, evacuation kits etc.
How Rainbow International Can Help
The Rainbow International team has developed expert-led processes over the decades of service they have provided for businesses dealing with a flooded office or commercial property.
With professional approaches and expert equipment, you can trust Rainbow International to treat your business’ office with care, and restore it to its former glory so you don’t waste time and money.
We know how to support your business from beginning to end of the process, and we will work to salvage as much as possible from the damage. Our principle is to remove the stress from you and provide you with peace of mind so that you can get back to what matters most.
Get In Touch With Rainbow International For Your PAT Test!
Our team of experts understand how important the office flood cleanup is, and how key it is to get it done as quickly as possible with all details paid plenty of attention at the same time. Get in touch to get the help of our experts today, and get your business back up and running as soon as possible.