Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Preventing Commercial Water Damage During Construction of Your New Business

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Preventing Commercial Water Damage During Construction of Your New Business Don't let water damage get your business down before opening day.

As a new business owner, the last thing you want is water damage during the construction of your business. However, it can happen if the proper procedures are not followed. Remember that SERVPRO is proud to serve our local business owners when the unexpected happens, but this article from The Hartford Insurance explains what can happen: 

 Common causes of water damage during construction include:

• Improper installation of weatherproofing, waterproofing and moisture barrier systems on the exterior skin of a building

• Poorly glued connections on plastic pipes or improperly sweated copper pipe connections

Supervisors should ensure that all weatherproofing/ waterproofing installations adhere to the building plans, manufacturers’ specifications, industry standards, and all relevant building codes. The WDPP (Water Damage Protection Plan) should include a quality control plan for plumbing connections and fittings such as marking each connection with a permanent marker. The plan should also include the fire sprinkler system. Worksite inspections should verify that:

• Water accumulations from rain and groundwater are not migrating into the building

• All door and window openings are covered at the end of each work shift and prior to inclement weather

• Water lines and mechanical equipment are protected from freezing

• Sprinkler or plumbing lines that are pressure tested with water are drained immediately following the test

• Standpipe valves are closed

• Roof drains are not blocked with leaves or debris

• Sink drains are not clogged

• Storage areas are dry and well ventilated

• Materials are raised off the floor by pallets for storage Controls

The WDPP (Water Detection Protection Plan) often outlines preventative measures to minimize the risk of water damage such as an administrative policy to shut off the domestic water supply during off-hours. Supervisory personnel should verify that no trades will be working during off-hours before shutting off the water supply. In addition, they must ensure that the domestic water line doesn’t provide water to any operating mechanical system that requires a constant water source. Other preventative procedures include:

• Providing a secondary power source (i.e. generator) when using sump pumps or other water pumping systems

• Testing sprinkler and plumbing systems with air pressure to identify system leaks before charging with water

• Sealing leading edges of roofing materials at the end of each day to prevent storm water from getting under an incomplete roofing membrane

• Providing heat during the winter in buildings with charged water lines or standpipes to protect from freezing

• Leaving a gap of at least 1/2” between the drywall and the floor to minimize water contact in the event floors become wet

Many leak detection systems are available to help prevent water damage. Many commercial water flow detection systems are completely non-intrusive (no cutting of pipe to install) and easy to program. Passive leak detectors monitor water flow and sound an alarm (local or connected to a centrally monitored system) when water starts to flow and the system is armed during off hours. Active leak detectors not only generate an alarm, but can also prevent water leaks by automatically shutting off the water supply. The WDPP can list the leak detection systems used on-site, identify supervisory personnel responsible for their use, and refer to the operating guidelines for each system.