The Insurance Journal reports that U.S. businesses may spend up to $13.5 billion to replace or repair commercial buildings damaged by flooding. In addition to the cost of repairing and replacing damaged properties, U.S. businesses are at risk of losing more than 3 million days of operation due to flooding. While no one can control the weather, many floods in commercial buildings can often be prevented. Read on for everything to know about what causes commercial water damage and how you can prevent your business from being impacted.


Causes of Commercial Water Damage

Mother nature notwithstanding, these are the leading causes of water damage in commercial spaces.

  • Broken and Damaged Pipes
    A broken pipe in a commercial office space can cause extensive damage. Old, rusty, or improperly insulated pipes present risks to the businesses beneath, beside, and above them.
  • Leaking Roof
    Commercial water damage is often caused by a damaged roof that begins leaking. At the first sign of a leak in your office, notify your property manager or the building owner.
  • Damage to the Foundation
    Poorly sealed foundations or cracked foundations let water seep into the building. Unfortunately, this type of water damage often goes unnoticed, as most people employed in the commercial space rarely venture into the basement. By the time the leak is found, mold and mildew are often growing, requiring extensive mold removal and remediation.
  • HVAC System Problems
    Old or improperly maintained HVAC systems in commercial spaces can cause water damage. Air conditioning systems will leak if they develop holes or cracks in the drain pan. Clogged drains can lead to pooling water. Frozen evaporator coils can also rupture and cause commercial water damage.

Signs of Water Damage in Commercial Spaces

Early signs of water damage can be hard to spot. The signs will become more evident as the water damage becomes more extensive. Signs of commercial water damage include:

  • Bubbling wallscommercial water damage
  • Bulging walls
  • Cracked, loose tiles
  • Cracks in ceilings
  • Cracks in walls
  • Increased water bills
  • Musty or mildew smell
  • Peeling paint on walls
  • Rust development
  • Visible mold growth
  • Warped baseboards
  • Warped flooring
  • Water stains on the ceiling
  • Water stains on walls
  • Wet carpeting

If you notice any of these signs of water damage, contact a water damage restoration company, or notify the property management as soon as possible.


Preventing Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

Commercial property owners should develop and maintain a robust maintenance system. This should include regular inspections of:

  • HVAC system
  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Joint seals
  • Windows
  • Walls
  • Plumbing System
  • Sprinkler System

Commercial property tenants should notify the building’s maintenance team or property management company as soon as possible if they see any signs of water damage.


Restoration Services for Commercial Properties

ProKleen provides 24/7 emergency water damage restoration services for commercial properties in Lane County. We also offer mold inspections and remediation where necessary. ProKleen will be happy to provide direct billing to your insurance company. If you’ve experienced water damage or flooding in your commercial building, call 541-857-1818.