If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911. For our emergency commercial damage restoration services, contact us at (877) 468-3566.
Whether you work in an office building, factory, or anything in between, there are always factors that can cause building damage and create dangerous situations for all staff members exposed. Not only does damage to a commercial or industrial building pose potential harm to workers, it also forces the shutdown of operations and closure of business. At best, this means a costly temporary shutdown, and at worst, it means a permanent company closure. Without immediate attention and restoration action, many businesses never recover from critical damages or emergencies. If you are facing damage to your building from any kind of disaster, ServiceMaster Recovery by C2C Restoration can provide comprehensive, rapid response commercial damage restoration in Los Angeles County, CA and the surrounding regions.
Disasters resulting in a business shutdown, even if it’s just for a few days, can create immediate and long-term damage to your company’s success. It’s costly to provide paid leave for workers while production is down and workplace injury compensation if any staff is exposed to dangerous conditions. Also, businesses can lose vendors and customers to other companies while they are temporarily closed.
As a provider of restoration services, we are dedicated to getting your company back on its feet as quickly, safely, and effectively as possible. After any disaster, we perform immediate actions that will initiate the full restoration process. This includes inspection of the damages, pack out of electronics, furniture, appliances, and other content for cleaning and repair at an offsite location, boarding and tarping of the property to prevent intruders and weather exposure, and project management planning to ensure every step of the recovery process is done on schedule.
There are many kinds of disasters that can warrant the need for extensive commercial damage restoration, from fires to floods, and more. In the following sections we will discuss some of the most common causes of commercial building disasters.
Commercial water damage can stem from a broad range of causes, making it one of the most prevalent issues that businesses face year-round. The following are some frequent causes of water damage in workplaces:
- Pipes: Even in warmer climates like Southern California, leaking, cracked, or broken pipes can create significant water damage issues. This is especially common in older buildings. In Los Angeles County, there are many historic buildings that have recently come back into use, including in the downtown area. The Los Angeles Conservancy keeps detailed records of historic land and buildings throughout the city. Additionally, leaking sprinkler systems can create mild water damage leading to mold growths or significant standing water damage throughout the building.
- Roofs: Damage to roofing from storms, wind, rain, poor maintenance, or other causes of structural problems can lead to indoor leakage. These leaks might be obvious if they are severe or in areas that are heavily trafficked, but often they saturate inside walls, crawl spaces, and ceilings. These hidden leaks will lead to further damage and health hazards from mold growth.
- Windows: Like roofs, windows can also have leakage issues. This is common in older windows when seals have become brittle, cracked, or shrunk with age. Window damage like cracks in panes or full glass breakage can let rain and other moisture inside. With small gaps in a seal or a cracked pane, water damage can come from excess moisture leading to mold growth. Window sills are one of the most susceptible areas to mold indoors.
- HVAC: For indoor air quality support, every commercial, industrial, or residential building should have a properly functioning heat, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. HVAC systems have coolant and seals throughout their ducting and controls, but if these are compromised, it can lead to water damage from leakage. HVAC vents and filter systems wear over time, and without proper replacement, cleaning, and maintenance, they can be a serious cause of water damage.
- Weather: In addition to potentially damaging roofs and windows, weather events can pose critical water damage issues. Flash flooding and other severe floods are a major concern in Los Angeles. Because the region is generally arid with little rain year-round, the rainy season can dump more water than the rivers can handle in a short period of time. The rainy season often sees upwards of 24 straight hours of heavy rainfall. It’s not uncommon for these rains to flood streets, neighborhoods, and commercial districts. Heavy rain and storm damage can also impact various building materials and lead to interior water damage.
- Earthquakes: Because it's located on several fault lines, including the massive San Andreas fault, much of Southern California experiences hundreds of earthquakes of varying magnitudes every year. These earthquakes can lead to water damage due to broken pipes, flooded city water systems, cracked foundations, sewage system issues, and even compromised local dams and hydraulic plants. The increased risks of “the big one” or other large earthquakes means that emergency commercial restoration services will be more important than ever for more than just water damage.
- Fire: One cause of water damage that is often unexpected is a building fire. Not only does fire wreak havoc on the structural integrity and interiors of a building, the water used by firefighters as they put out the dangerous flames will leave a soggy mess. If you’re experiencing damage from a fire and the ensuing water damage, our restoration technicians can provide complete recovery services, including soot and smoke mitigation.
Like water damage, there are several causes of fire in a commercial building. Some of the most common causes of fire damage in office spaces, fabrication facilities, retail spaces, restaurants, and other workplaces include:
- Kitchens: From small break rooms to restaurant kitchens, fire is always a possibility. Kitchen fires are the number one cause of fire-related building damage, either from the combustion of flames or simply smoke and soot. Kitchens often contain flammable items like cooking fuel, oils, and cleaners. They are often chaotic, especially in industrial or restaurant kitchens, or they are unattended, such as office kitchens where microwaves and toaster ovens are left running. While smoke alarms and sprinkler systems can help prevent kitchen fires, they are still common problems in commercial spaces.
- Smoking: Most workplaces don’t allow workers to smoke indoors, but even outdoor smoking areas can still be the cause of a building fire. If smoking materials are improperly disposed of, fires can start outside of a building and enter through doors, vents, windows, and more.
- Electrical systems: In old buildings in particular, electrical fires are common. Old, out-of-date, or improperly installed electrical wiring can quickly spark a major building fire. Additionally, heavy use of electronics, including computer systems, appliances, and industrial equipment, can lead to overloaded circuits and fires. Faulty fuses, ungrounded outlets, loose connections, overloaded breakers, bad wiring, and overuse of extension cords can all lead to a commercial building fire.
- Human error and arson: The more people in a building, the greater the risk of accident or error leading to a fire. Placing paper too close to a candle, improper use of space heaters, overuse of extension cords, and many other accidents can occur in a workspace. The same can be said of arson. The larger your staff, the greater the potential for a disgruntled or angered employee. If those circumstances lead to malicious acts like arson, it can put your building and staff in danger.
- Equipment: Especially in industrial buildings, equipment failure can lead to serious fire damage. Commercial equipment operating over time or without the right maintenance can become a fire hazard if it overheats or malfunctions in other ways. Poor installation can also be a factor in equipment fires. With proper maintenance care and professional installation into existing operating systems, you can reduce the risk of equipment fires in the workplace.
- Wildfires: Forest and brush fires in the southwest U.S. are a growing concern. With climate change increasing conditions conducive to widespread wildfires throughout a longer portion of the year, communities and commercial areas of Los Angeles County are facing greater risk of building damage and safety issues. Even with the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Forest Service Wildland Firefighters doing everything they can to contain incidents, wildfires are still a significant factor that all businesses and residents should take action against.
Commercial restoration providers and the development of many kinds of safety precautions have greatly lessened incidents of major workplace disasters over the years, but we didn’t always have these measures and protections in place. Since the industrial growth in the early 1900s, there have been many tragedies in the workplace. Two of those devastating disasters include:
- The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: In the 1911 fire that burned the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist factory, at least 150 women and young girls jumped to their deaths or died in the flames because they were trapped behind locked doors. There are numerous factors of this story that are egregious hallmarks of the classism, capitalism, and inhumane conditions of the time, but the silver lining of this tragedy is the massive workforce safety movement it sparked.
- The Great Molasses Flood: In Boston, MA in 1919, an enormous molasses factory tank that had been repeatedly neglected for maintenance exploded. A wave of molasses moving at about 35 mph flooded the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150. The cold January weather quickly cooled the hot molasses into a thick, sticky mess, trapping cars, horses, and people in 2.3 million gallons of gooey solids.
With comprehensive restoration services and modern safety standards, we can often avoid tragedies like these. To learn more about our commercial damage restoration in Los Angeles County, CA, contact ServiceMaster Recovery by C2C Restoration today at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our fast response LA line: (323) 851-5543. For emergencies, contact us at (877) 468-3566.