Categories: Decontamination, Preservation & Stabilization, Water Damage Restoration, Emergency Response
A loss of any kind can wreak havoc on a business. Business interruption alone can lead to lost profits, lost clients, and employee layoffs. Then factor in equipment replacement lead time – it can certainly wipe a business out depending on the severity of the loss.
A fact many may not realize is that water exposure does not automatically trigger the need to replace equipment. Restoration is a viable method of restoring the equipment to a pre-loss condition. While circuitry that may have sustained immediate physical damage in the form of arcing or damaged components from power fluctuations would be replaced, the remainder of the equipment should undergo professional decontamination followed by testing, repair, and recalibration.
Read our tips below on how to effectively preserve and stabilize equipment following a water incident.
What Should You Do Right After a Water Contamination Event?
Water contamination events can be caused by flooding, structural problems causing rain to enter an area, plumbing issues, or activation of a fire suppression. From elevated humidity to full submersion, all of these pose their own challenges.
After a water contamination event, you need to call a company that will help dry the building, and you also need to stabilize the equipment by implementing the following steps:
- Disconnect the power from all equipment, including uninterruptible power supplies. For equipment that runs off of batteries, remove the batteries. It's vital not to energize equipment until it has been inspected and cleared for use. Water and contaminants can cause a short circuit, causing further damage and potentially starting a fire.
- Mop and wipe excess water. Wet-type vacuum cleaners can be useful here. Make sure to go under raised floors and into duct work.
- Remove waterlogged items such as packaging materials, paper, cloth, etc., from the affected area. These items can affect humidity or cause water to continue to leach into equipment.
- Install dehumidifiers. You want relative humidity to be around 45-55 percent. Fans can be used if dehumidifiers aren't available.
- Carefully open equipment covers and remove visible surface water from inside the equipment.
- Apply a rust inhibiting compound to any unprotected (i.e., not painted or stainless) surfaces on machinery. WD-40 can even work well in some situations.
All of this can and should be done before the restoration expert arrives on site. You should also thoroughly document the damage and take photos to provide to your insurance adjuster.
Upon arrival, the restoration expert will inspect the equipment. Some items may be cleared for immediate return to use, while others may need to undergo decontamination. With the use of a scientific analysis to establish the levels and types of contamination, the proper decontamination techniques will be employed.
To find out more about how we can help you if you or a client has experienced water damage, contact AREPA today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By: TJ Tijjani
TJ currently serves as an equipment specialist on large scale assignments where his responsibilities include assessment and decontamination of medical, electronic, industrial and manufacturing equipment, supervision of restoration specialists and contractors as team lead, and technical testing / repair, were applicable, to ensure that production can resume with minimal downtime.