Your facility has suffered extensive interior water damage? Here’s what to do.
Property owners and facility managers can have a huge load on their shoulders when interior water damage occurs. Whether the cause was a broken sprinkler head, a busted water pipe, sewage backup, a major storm event or a widespread flood, remediating damage to your property’s assets costs you and your tenants time, productivity and revenue.
Your first action when a water disaster strikes must be to secure the premises to limit damage and protect the facility’s occupants. Call a trusted asset care service provider who knows your space and security protocols. Contact your tenants’ key executives and EH&S personnel to keep them informed and manage their expectations on business continuity. Notify your security company to ensure they are surveying the area. Time is of the essence so quickly make your initial assessment and engage your professional water damage, remediation team.
As a safeguard, always assume the facility’s flooring, walls, furniture, contents and any standing water inside is contaminated. Be ready to take precautions against permanent damage or harm to the structure, your tenants and the value of the property’s assets from microbiological contamination such as mold, spores and airborne pathogens that cause air-quality degradation and a lingering risk of disease. When your water damage cleanup procedures are compliant from the outset, you also help protect against the future risk of possible fines or litigation.
Protecting yourself and your inspection team
Be sure you and members of your inspection team wear any protective garments warranted by the situation. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could include durable water-resistant footwear, protective goggles, rubber gloves and disposable N-95 respirator masks. Cordon off the area to restrict access. Then walk the facility’s perimeter. Based on the severity of the incident, consider turning off all gas, water, electrical power and utility services. Inspect foundations and retaining walls for cracks and other significant damage while making tangible, recordable documentation of the damage. Enter the building and take comprehensive notes and photos of the scope and extent of the water damage on floors, walls, furniture, computers and electronic equipment and other valuable furnishings.
Call interior water damage remediation experts
Experienced professionals in the property and facility management industry will advise you to entrust your remediation operations only to companies whose emergency technicians meet all IICRC® (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards for Class A facilities. Very few companies meet them all — but Corporate Care does.
Emergency response to natural disasters
Corporate Care will mobilize days in advance of predicted major weather events, deploying resources to wherever our clients need us from coast to coast. And because we know their interior spaces and security protocols, we can respond quickly — reducing the duration of work required and saving money. We have provided an emergency response for Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Sandy, Gustav and more. During the 2017 Hurricane Harvey disaster, in the face of extensive damage within the city’s critical energy and financial corridors, Corporate Care was cited for its exemplary performance for multiple clients. Our team quickly aggregated the massive resources required to launch a multi-phase mobilization of technicians, equipment and materials for the upcoming remediation operations, and was among the first remediation companies to reach the affected areas.
Corporate Care’s services to remediate water damage caused by catastrophic events include:
- 24/7 emergency response
- Documenting all areas of all buildings to render moisture maps and supporting data, employing recorded observations along with digital photography, moisture measurement and infrared images
- Removing all contaminated and affected material from the interiors, concentrating on the areas with active mold growth
- Filtering and scrubbing the air in the buildings 24/7
- Pumping out hundreds of gallons of water per day from the affected buildings
- Removal of clear, gray and black water
- Implementing advanced structural drying and chemical-based decontamination of all the structural surfaces and fixtures deemed to be repairable
- Document and furniture drying
- Test readings for indoor relative humidity and direct moisture
- Removing all baseboard and wall surface material as determined by the levels of contamination measured and moisture readings taken
- Removing all damaged materials including acoustic tiles, trim around partition glass, doors and millwork, appliances, fixed objects in target areas (such as restrooms) and tile wall surfaces
- Employing biocidal agents to decontaminate all structural surfaces
- Providing non-stop air scrubbing and filtration throughout the disaster recovery process
- Documentation to substantiate compliance
In the instance of Hurricane Harvey, it took nearly two months to finish the recovery on all properties within the defined scope of work, and all projects were completed on time and within budget. Hopefully, you will never experience extensive water damage in your facilities, but if you do, Corporate Care is an ideal partner for safe, thorough and expedient remediation.
The Truth About Crystallization
What is crystallization?
Crystallization is a process that was developed by Coor & Kleever, in Spain, in the late '60s. This unique process is used on marble and limestone floors all over the world. Crystallization utilizes acidic chemistry, steel wool, a low-speed rotary floor buffer and an expert user. The process converts the calcium carbonate on the surface of the stone into a harder and glossier calcium fluorosilicate. The before and after images of a crystallized floor is quite astonishing. There really is no method that can make marble glossier or more durable yet crystallization constantly gets a bad rap with so many in the floor maintenance and restoration industry. Why would that be if the results are so incredible?
The following are three problems with crystallization.
- The expense of steel wool is quite high.
If a technician is crystallizing for an entire work night than he is likely to use 8 to 16 steel wool pads. At more than $6.00 each, the technician will have used $50 – $100 worth of steel wool. That makes it a substantial cost approaching that of labor itself.
- It can destroy grout.
The grout may not look any different the first time the marble is crystallized but once it is crystallized several times the grout will begin to discolor and rust, in many cases. When crystallization fluid is being worked on the surface of the marble, with a low-speed buffer and steel wool pad, the fluid is being deposited into the low-lying grout. Because crystallization is a wet to dry process the acidic fluid that is deposited into the grout is never recovered by a wet vacuum. As for the rusting, that is caused by the iron in the steel wool. Steel wool being rubbed against grout will eventually lead to rust. The exception being synthetic grout
- If it's not an expert using it the result can be catastrophic.
Crystallization must not be overdone. Using too much of this acidic product can result in orange peeling. This is when the surface of the marble is essentially burned and it loses its glassy smooth surface in place of a dimpled surface just like an orange peel.
Overuse can also deteriorate the veins in the marble. A marble floor requires abrasive work to resurface it once it has been crystallized a handful of times. If the marble is never resurfaced, and the same surface is crystallized over and over again, it is being submitted to an acid bath that is going to cause damage. This is not what crystallization was designed for. It was never intended to be the only step in a marble maintenance program. It must be accompanied by resurfacing from time to time.
APEX Surface Care are experts on all hard surfaces. Visit us at www.APEXSurfaceCare.com
Kathy Edwards, Regional Sales Executive Texas
Xavier Fernandez, Stone Division Operations Manager