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Dos and Don’ts: Water Damage to Commercial Property

Things that you can do to minimize damage:

  • Stop the water flow if possible. If necessary hire a qualified person to assist you to make repairs. Keep any parts that are replaced for your insurance company inspection.
  • If safe to do so, turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas and remove any small electrical devices from those areas.
  • If you have an emergency response service provider, call them immediately
  • Remove small furniture items to minimize furniture stains or rust and to speed up drying.

  • Place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under legs of furniture that cannot be moved.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
  • Wipe down furniture that is wet with a dry cloth or towel.
  • Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Remove wet area rugs to a dry area.
  • Remove breakables, moisture-sensitive and high-value items, books, paper goods, waste bins, potted plants, and any other items that may stain floor coverings.
  • Remember to check under desks for small items that might be damaged.
  • Plan for restoration crews to move furniture into unaffected dry areas.
  • Make sure you and your employees practice good personal hygiene after handling affected items.

Things that you should NOT do:

  • Do not enter rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.
  • Do not use computers and outlets while in wet areas.
  • Do not use a shop vacuum to remove water. It can cause damage to the vacuum or result in electrical shock to the user.
  • Do not attempt to clean up contaminated (sewer) water.
  • Do not turn on fans, heating or air conditioning units if water is sewage-related as they may spread the contamination.
  • Do not walk on wet surfaces any more than necessary in order to minimize safety hazards and to keep from spreading damage and possible contaminants.