Reopening Businesses After Winter Breaks – A Complete Checklist
The warmth inside buildings during the winters and the general dark environment created by virtually empty and unattended office spaces can lead to numerous issues in commercial buildings. When you reopen your office, apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, you also need to make sure that due to lack of maintenance, there isn’t any structural damage or mold that could endanger the overall well-being of your employees.
You need to consider at least the following issues that may indicate that you need commercial restoration service performed:
- Look for any water damage on the walls and ceiling. Water damage in your unattended office could be because of a leaky pipe or thawing ice.
- Look for mold on the premises and on the outside. If there is water damage, you can expect that mold isn’t far behind either.
- Any signs of fire or smoke damage. This could either be extensive (and be put out by the smoke alarm in your absence) or be something small such as an extension cord or UPS system getting fried. In case of fire or smoke damage, you will most likely smell it the moment you enter your property.
- Anything else that could be damaged due to a natural disaster during the winter break. This includes broken window(s), divots in walls and roofs, flooding, or more.
These four are usually the prime considerations that you need to make when reopening businesses after winter breaks. Here is a checklist of things that you need to check for each of these before your employees return.
Checking For Water Damage Restoration
Start with checking whether you need water damage restoration.
- Check the walls – especially the corners – for water damage
- Check the drainage systems and make sure they are working
- Check the plumbing. Listen for trickling sounds.
- When checking the plumbing, look for any sewage backup as well
- Look at the ceiling. Use a flashlight for a better view
- Find any unsecured door, window, or roof openings
- Check the windows and make sure they are intact
- Check the attic, if any
- Check the basement, if any
When checking these places, you are looking for:
- Wet spots
- Discolored patches
- Flaking drywall
- Strange, wet odor
If you find any water damage, determine how extensive the damage is, particularly how big the spot is and how long the water has stood there.
Checking For Mold Removal
Even if there is no water damage, make sure you check whether you need mold removal services.
- Check for any strange, musty odors.
- If you feel that the property is very humid, pop a window or turn the HVAC system on immediately to reduce the risk of mold.
- Check the walls and ceiling, especially the corners
- Look for any black or discolored spots
- Push the drywall around the property softly. If the wall is squishy, you may have mold or rot.
- Are there any unexplainable dark stains on any surface?
- Is there any unusual growth around your indoor plants?
- Is the caulking in your bathroom present?
- Is the caulking a dark green or black color?
- Check any water pools or excessive moisture for dark spots
- Check hardwood for warping
The checklists above are the same for natural disasters as well, so make sure that while you inspect for water damage or mold, you also look for any external damage to your office or property. It also includes checking for fire damage, as the next checklist suggests.
Checking For Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage usually doesn’t go unnoticed that easily. The moment you walk in, you will surely smell that something is or was burning. When checking whether you need fire and smoke damage restoration service, look for:
- Any residual burning smell
- Burn marks on wires and extension cords
- Any tipped off smoke sensors
- Inspect all fire extinguishers
- Assess the electrical system
- Check the sprinkler system water level. If it is less than optimal, know that there was a fire.
- Check with local authorities for any sensors that went off. Usually, when a smoke detector goes off, local authorities will automatically inform you.
- Check for water damage. If the sprinkler system went off or if someone used a fire extinguisher, there is no doubt that you will see something reflect it.
911 Restoration experts use specialized tools to check for excess humidity or, more specifically, mold. If you think you have mold in your property, it is best to avoid calling your employees back to work until the issue has been resolved or at least cordoned off. Our commercial restoration services can help you get rid of mold and make your workplace safe and healthy again! So, give us a call now and let us help!