Disasters Even Happen To Us

Each winter many property owners and managers are faced with the reality of water damage caused by frozen and broken pipes. Interstate is not immune to this type of disaster. Because of the freezing cold temperatures, our own building experienced a pipe burst just last week from a broken pipe in the fire sprinkler system. And, it’s not uncommon to find this same scenario with our clients in the winter months.

On most cold nights the pipes in buildings are just fine but when exposed to extreme cold temperatures, as we have seen in the past few weeks, they can easily freeze and break. The problems start when the temperatures begin to warm. Water freezes around the pipe and causes it to break. The broken pipes start to melt releasing the water, which floods the building causing severe water damage in just minutes. Ceilings, walls, cabinets, flooring, furniture, computers, clothing and personal items can be immersed in hundreds of gallons of water in just minutes. So what can property owners do to mitigate the damage?

  • Know where the power shut off is to the affected areas so no one gets electrocuted
  • Make sure your building engineers, facilities directors and property managers all know exactly where the shut off is to the sprinkler system
  • Call your sprinkler maintenance company immediately to get the system fixed and back in service
  • Remove any contents from the area as soon as possible to mitigate any damage to furniture, computers and personal items
  • Have on hand site surveys showing any lead or asbestos materials in the building materials

Most importantly call a qualified emergency restoration contractor with experience and advance moisture detection devices to ensure all the water damage has been found and properly addressed. If not addressed properly the first time, you could have a bigger problem on your hands down the road with mold and unhappy tenants.