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Don’t Take A Rain Check


Alan Lewin, Managing Director of ServiceMaster Clean, explains how businesses can protect their floors from extreme weather conditions.


During periods of extreme wet weather, specialist floorcare combined with disaster restoration work is more important than ever, to prevent lasting damage to your flooring and your business. Even a small amount of water can cause all kinds of problems if left unchecked, so it makes sense to deal with the damage as soon as possible.


ServiceMaster Clean Portsmouth and Southampton managed a significant clean-up operation for commercial organisations and residential properties in the south east. The team, which covers areas in and around Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, had undertaken a significant increase in flood restoration work during the fairly recent wet weather period.


Over the winter season, this particular region saw an increase in the demand for disaster restoration services from pubs, as they are often situated near rivers or by the sea, prone to flooding during heavy rain. In one instance, restoration work was undertaken by the ServiceMaster Clean team at a pub on the Isle of Wight, which was flooded by water coming in from the sea. Water had saturated the pub garden and flowed through into the first floor of the pub, submerged under 2ft of water.


All furniture had to be removed from the pub, to avoid being damaged further and to allow space for restoration work to be completed. The furniture was taken to ServiceMaster Clean’s workshop, ready to be assessed and restored if possible, while the team sanitised the ground


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floor to stop the spread of bacteria from potentially dirty water. Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste, and there may be hazards in the water such as sharp objects, so once the water was pumped from the building, specialist drying equipment was used.


If materials and floor coverings have failed to dry out correctly following water damage, moisture can become a cause of dry rot, bacteria and toxic mould growth, leading possibly to a health hazard, releasing allergenic spores or toxic compounds into the air. The drying process can take up to five weeks, depending upon how serious the flooding is, with the team returning to the premises every week to check whether the materials are dry. Once this has been verified by specially trained technicians, a drying certificate is then issued to the owner.


Wherever possible, ServiceMaster Clean works with organisations to carry out the full restoration of damaged floor coverings, furniture and upholstery, saving materials from our landfills that could take hundreds of years to break down. The technology for protecting, sustaining and restoring the appearance of floor coverings and furniture that were previously considered beyond repair, has improved dramatically.


The majority of property damage cases result in an insurance claim, but we understand the importance of clear and concise communication with you, whilst ensuring that restoration works are compatible with loss adjuster and insurer processes. Attention to detail and state-of-the-


Practical tips for minimising flooring and other property damage from heavy rain:


• Monitor weather conditions and take appropriate precautions to protect the building


• Look for signs of water penetration in the roofing, exterior walls and foundations


• Have a list of important contacts, including your insurance company and disaster restoration specialists which can help you quickly return back to ‘business as usual’ in the event of property damage


• Move furniture to a higher level and away from the water as soon as possible to minimise the damage


art central reporting and auditing, ensure that all parties involved are aware of the progress of the claim.


ServiceMaster Clean provides a specialist disaster recovery service, Restoration Response™, to deal with incidents quickly, therefore keeping the damage and associated costs to a minimum. Sign up is free, giving you peace of mind that, in an unexpected emergency, we will be there within two to four hours to help, delivering one of the fastest onsite response times, with the single goal of getting you back to business fast.


www.restorationresponse.co.uk


FLOORCARE, CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CARE | 67


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