A flood is always a serious matter, but when it affects your retail store, you may have to shut down. This results in a loss of income on top of having to deal with cleaning up the mess. If your building is salvageable, then you'll want to bring in a flood damage crew as quickly as possible so you can get your store operational. Here are some ways to deal with a flooded store.
Isolate The Damage If Possible
An assessment is in order to see if it's possible to operate your store on a limited basis. The crew may focus on cleaning up the least damaged part of your store so you can open for business. If the areas with the worst water damage can be isolated, then your store may be able to operate partially. This could be important if you sell goods the community needs to help with storm restoration or if you sell water and snack foods that people might need when there is a prolonged loss of power.
Pump Out The Water
The complexity of the restoration process depends on how much water is standing in your building, how long it's been present, and the degree of contamination of the water. Water from an outside flood is always considered contaminated, and that requires a different cleaning approach than water damage from a clean water source. However, the first step is to pump out standing water so drying out the building can get underway. Water can be pumped out, swept out, or mopped up so the floor is mostly dry, but even after this, there will be plenty of water in the building that has been soaked into the building materials.
Dry Out The Building
Once water has been removed, porous building materials such as drywall and insulation are removed if they've soaked up water. Porous materials take a long time to dry out, so they may mold. Plus, if they've soaked up contaminated water, they can't be sanitized. It's safer, faster, and easier to remove those types of materials and replace them once the building is dry. Getting rid of wet materials also speeds up the drying process, but it will also be necessary to bring in fans, air movers, dryers, and dehumidifiers to dry out the building and remove humidity from the air.
Sanitize The Floor
An important part of cleaning up after a flood is sanitizing the surfaces that came in contact with the contaminated water. It may also be necessary to scrub away mold that's started to grow because your building is wet. In addition to sanitizing the area, the building may need to be deodorized to remove bad odors that accumulated due to stagnant water being held in building materials. When the water damage restoration is complete, your building should smell fresh and be clean so it's attractive to your customers.
If your store doesn't sell goods needed by the community for survival or flood restoration, then you may want to close the store until the cleanup is complete. However, if you have things people in your community desperately need in the days after a flood, keeping your doors open is probably a priority if it's possible with the help of a restoration crew.
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