Finding water damage in your restaurant can be a stressful experience. You’ll need to accommodate the repair schedule, which may interrupt your business hours. Mold is a known side-effect of water damage, so the cleanliness of your kitchens and food prep areas needs to be prioritized at this time.
Prevention is the best way to avoid water damage issues and the headaches that come with it. To get you started, keep an eye out on these five areas in your restaurant that are prone to water damage.
Common Areas Where You Can Find Water Damage in A Restaurant
Roof leaks are often responsible for commercial water damage claims. They inevitably damage the ceiling, and if the water’s path passes the interior pillars and walls, they will eventually show signs of damage, too.
Roof leaks can be due to clogged gutters, broken or missing shingles, poorly-designed roof vents, and condensation in the attic. The age of the building is also a factor: the older the building, the higher the chances of a damaged roof due to wear and tear. So be mindful of your building’s age when checking the roof and gutters.
The kitchen alone has many high-risk locations for water damage, and most, if not all, have something to do with the plumbing. The sink is a prime example. No matter how deep or wide the basin is, water will still splash onto the floor.
The areas around the refrigerators and appliances connected to the water lines can have water damage if the pipework leaks. Slow leaks are especially damaging because most people don’t notice them immediately.
Sudden leaks can also occur, and on this situation, it’s best to hire a water damage company to conduct the water cleanup. They will have the proper equipment to drain the flood in your kitchen and ensure it is completely dry. Then, follow it up with professional disinfection to ensure your entire establishment is free from flood-borne bacteria or viruses.
The back of the toilet tank and urinals are the most common locations for water damage in bathrooms. These areas are also prone to mold. The microbial growth can thrive hidden for months and months, only becoming apparent when you notice signs like the stale smell or some of your staff experiencing mold allergy symptoms (e.g., sneezing, red and itchy eyes, shortness of breath, etc.).
Since the sprinkler will only be activated in the event of a fire, non-use of the sprinkler system can also spell trouble because checking it would be the last of your priorities. Over time, the pipework can deteriorate and release water without warning.
In some cases, fluctuations in the water pressure would result in broken sprinkler valves, causing water to leak from the pipes concealed within the walls or on your ceiling.
Central air conditioning systems leak water when the condensate drain line is clogged, the condensate pump fails, or if there is a problem with the AC’s cooling cycle.
Problems with the drain line happen when you skip several cleaning schedules, and dust accumulates in the tube that empties the condensation pooling in the drain pan.
Something similar happens when the condensate pump breaks. AC units with a long drain line cannot depend on gravity. They need pumps to push the water out of the drain pan and outside your building. If the pump is broken or has cracks, the condensation will collect in the drain pan and overflow, resulting in water pooling at the bottom of your AC unit.
Signs Your Equipment Needs Replacement
Since water damage in a restaurant mainly involves appliances and plumbing, ensuring that your appliances, gutters, and indoor plumbing are all in good working condition is vital.
It helps to know telltale signs of damage to prevent water damage from occurring in your restaurant.
For kitchen appliances:
- You hear odd noises like rattling and banging coming from inside the machines.
- The floor around the appliances is glistening or slippery.
- The refrigerator is suddenly not as cold as it should be or takes longer than usual to cool.
- There’s too much water left in the dishwasher after a cycle.
For kitchen and bathroom sinks:
- The u-bend is dripping or looks damp.
- There’s a musty smell coming from beneath the sink.
- You hear a rushing sound from the drain.
- The smell of the sewers emanates from the drain.
- Fluctuating water pressure.
- A rattling noise gradually gets louder or prolonged whenever you turn on the AC system.
- You hear a gurgling sound from behind the unit.
- When you first turn the AC on, a damp, moldy smell enters the room.
- The floor beneath the AC unit is often sticky.
- The air that comes out is no longer as cold as it was previously at the same temperature settings.
For roofs and gutters:
- Only a small volume of rainwater exits through the downspout even when it rains hard.
- Sections of the gutter are bent or warped out of shape.
- Areas of the gutter system appear detached from the fascia or soffit.
- You hear dripping on the ceiling when it rains.
- You notice a growing water stain on the ceiling.
Call Your Local Restoration 1 Water Damage Company for Repairs
Preventing water damage in your restaurant is a team effort. All of your staff should be aware of the signs of plumbing or appliance malfunctions so that they can raise the alarm and preempt disaster. But sometimes wear and tear win out, and you might find your restaurant submerged in water when that happens.
The first thing you should do is call a trusted water damage company, preferably one that’s capable of water cleanup and commercial repairs. Professionals would know how to simultaneously clean the place and prevent further damage to your property. More importantly, they can immediately identify what they need to repair so that your restaurant can reopen as quickly as possible.
You can expect these services and more from Restoration 1 of Suffolk County. Call us immediately, and we’ll help get your restaurant ready for business again.