Has your home or commercial building been damaged due to water loss? Then you may require a water loss inspection. Inspections are the first step towards cleaning up the water loss. Inspections are among the most important, if not the most important, aspects of a drying job.

Commercial Inspections

While it is essential to have a thorough inspection in cases of water loss for both a residential and commercial building, commercial buildings tend to involve more people. Therefore, water loss damage in a commercial building could put hundreds of people at risk of injury or exposure to environmental risk – like mold, lead, and asbestos.

The first step towards a successful inspection of a commercial building is to identify safety issues. Look for the areas on the floors that the water affected. If there is a risk of slipping, then place a sign to inform people of the potential danger. Even if tile flooring is dry, there might be a slip risk if people pass from a wet carpet to a tile floor. Therefore, make sure to have a sign handy and give people verbal warnings of the risk. In this article, we are going to talk about different aspects of inspection for water loss, such as environmental risks, electrical hazards, inspecting contents, floor covering and architecture, and unknown water loss sources.

Environmental Risk

The water source should be identified immediately. It is extremely important to know whether the water source is clean or dirty before even starting with the drying. Assuming that the water source is clean and then later finding out it isn’t can pose a risk to the people in the building and those doing the clean-up and drying job.

In addition to identifying the water source, another environmental risk should be identified. During the inspection, the inspector should identify mold, lead, and asbestos. Both state and federal regulations dictate that both commercial and domestic buildings should be checked for asbestos if they were built before 1987. 

Electrical Hazards

The next step towards a thorough and successful inspection is to check for electrical hazards. You should check for electrical outlets and other electronics that may have been affected by the water damage. However, be careful not to touch them since it can be dangerous. When in doubt, choose the safe route and hire an electrician to inspect lightbulb sockets, electrical outlets, and other electronics. Do not unplug computers without turning them off first, if it is safe to do so.

Inspecting Contents

In a commercial building, you might want to check for damaged items due to the water. Examples of such things could be files, documents, computers, desks, chairs. Depending on the amount of damage, you may need an expert to help you sort through papers. Generally, electronics can be left in the room where the drying job is happening, but only if they are off. Some materials, such as cardboard, have to be removed from the room before starting the drying process.

Floor Covering and Architecture

At first glance, people may think that carpet can be dried without having to remove them. However, that is not always the case. It is important to check what type of material is under the carpeting that has been affected.

Determining the history of the building is essential for the inspection process. This will let you know if the building has had past problems with mold, previous water damage, asbestos, and other issues. Make sure to get documentation of the past issues when asking about the history of the building.

Water Loss Source

Sometimes it can be challenging to determine where the water is coming from. Finding the source is not required to begin the inspection, but it is usually best to find the cause first. However, if you cannot find the source, you can still start with the drying process. However, something important to take into considerations is that a water loss source is needed in most cases to make an insurance claim.