Discovering water damage at your business is a huge headache! It can also lead to structural damage, mold, costly repairs and lost revenue. Use these water damage prevention measures below to protect your livelihood from flooding and freezing damage.
Indoor Water Damage Prevention Measures
- Check appliances regularly.
Conduct routine inspections and maintenance on all appliances in your business. Place emphasis on all appliances that have access to water lines (refrigerators, ice makers, etc.). Be sure to thoroughly consult manufacturer manuals for appropriate maintenance protocols, cleaning procedures and cleaning agents the can be safely be used in the appliance (if applicable).
- Locate your water main.
The water main is a valve that allows you to shut off the supply of water to the entire business. Its important employees know where the valve is located and how to properly shut it off in the event of a broken pipe gushing water. If the water main is shut off quickly during an emergency, your business could save thousands in repair costs.
- Use water detection devices.
Water detection devices are small devices that sound an alarm when they detect moisture. These devices enhance water damage prevention efforts and are much more effective at detecting slow leaks and low moisture levels that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Consider using them in areas near water heaters, sump pumps, toilets, or other high-risk areas.
- Monitor your monthly water usage.
It is not always obvious when a leak is occurring in your business. Keep close tabs on your water bill and if you see a major spike in water usage it may be time to investigate whether your building has a slow leak.
Outdoor Water Damage Prevention Measures
- Check outdoor water hoses & insulate exterior spigots.
Disconnect outdoor water hoses from your business and insulate exposed pipes in the winter. Standing water can freeze and expand causing breaks in water pipes.
Read, ‘7 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in an Arctic Blast.’
- Maintain and clean gutters.
Clean gutters at least twice a year to prevent puddling next to exterior walls. Ensuring that water flows away from the business during downpours will prevent water from getting underneath the foundation.
- Check the perimeter of exterior walls.
Make sure that the ground around the perimeter of the business is slightly angled to direct water away from the building preventing seepage into the foundation or basement.
- Maintain window seals.
Windows typically need to be replaced every 20 years or so. The best way to check window integrity is during a major rainstorm or downpour. If you notice water swapping in through the window, it’s time to caulk around the windows.
- Inspect and maintain your roof.
Ensure that there are no slow leaks occurring in the attic of your business. Slow roof leaks can be hard to detect but can cause major damage with adverse effects like mold and mildew. A way to spot leakage is to have it regularly inspected by a professional; this is especially important before storm season.
- Check sprinkler systems.
If you’re lucky enough to have some greenscape, make sure your sprinkler systems are inspected regularly so they aren’t leaking or spraying water directly at your business. This is especially important to pay attention to during winter to ensure that there are no frozen pipes beneath the surface of your property.
Talk to your local Society Insurance agent for more information on protecting your business or to discuss your insurance coverage options.