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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Long Will It Take to Reopen My Business After a Water Loss?

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

White and orange neon "Open" sign. We're dedicated to helping you reopen after a water loss.

When business owners call us to get more information about water damage mitigation and restoration, they’re often in a real bind. Unlike a homeowner, a business owner isn’t dealing with damage to their residence, but they are dealing with damage that could affect their income. This is especially true if the damage is so severe or so central to their business that they’ll have to close until it’s cleared up.

So it’s no surprise that business owners commonly ask us just how long the restoration process will take. While the length of the process really depends on the extent and type of damage, we can at least walk you through some common scenarios and considerations to give you an idea of what to expect.

What factors affect the length of restoration?

While every water loss is different, here are some of the common questions we consider when estimating how severe water damage might be:

  • How much water are we dealing with? A few puddles on the ground? A few feet of standing water? Water coming in from a hole in the roof?
  • How long has the water been there? How long has it been in contact with the business?
  • Is the water clean or unsanitary? What’s the source?
  • What types of materials did the water affect? Are there any that require specialty drying?
  • How much demolition or reconstruction will be necessary?

Basically, we need to assess not just the extent of the damage, but what was damaged, and which processes we’ll have to follow in order to properly handle it.

How long does it take for permanent water damage to occur?

The short answer: not long. Here’s a quick rundown of your average water damage timeline.

Within the first hour that a leak or flood begins, water will spread as evenly as it possible can throughout the area that it is entering. It will soak everything that it comes into contact with and, if there’s enough water, will also begin to wick up the walls and soak through the floor and the carpet. Any belongings will get soaked, and some more fragile items, like photographs, books, arts and electronics, may be seriously damaged.

Within the first 2 hours, and certainly within a week, you’ll begin to see mold and mildew develop as well if there’s no mitigation plan in place to stop them. This might start as an annoyance, but it could turn into a biohazard without proper care.

Within the first 24 hours, you may also begin to see drywall start to soak, bulge and break. Furniture will also begin to take on water and may start to swell and even crack. Wood flooring may begin to warp as it takes on moisture. Even metal surfaces may begin to tarnish after 24 hours of exposure.

After a week of exposure to water without proper mitigation or restoration, you’re at serious risk of both a mold outbreak and structural problems at your property. The cost of restoration will also go up significantly, as you’ll be looking at remediation and serious reconstruction on top of standard emergency services and restoration.

How can I reopen faster after a water loss?

The best thing you can do when faced with a water loss is spring into action quickly. Call SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster right away to get a crew in there working. Call your insurance agent and see if you can file a claim. If you can do so safely, start to remove contents yourself, and mop or blot up as much water as you can before a crew arrives. When it comes to preventing serious water damage, time is of the essence.

That said, even if you do everything right, restoring water losses takes time. The mitigation and restoration process will likely take at least a few days, especially if water penetrated deep into any hard-to-dry materials. If demolition and reconstruction are necessary, you may be waiting at least a few weeks for the process to be completed.

So if you’re dealing with a water loss, don’t wait – call SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster right away at 716-674-1103 to get the process started! We’ll work with you to not only make it "Like it never even happened,” but also to get your business back up and running ASAP.

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