Old man winter has hit Wisconsin pretty hard this year. Recently with the freezing weather, we were called into an apartment building where a sprinkler pipe froze and broke. This created a major catastrophe for the tenants and landlord. The broken sprinkler pipe flooded one upstairs apartment which then led to water leaking down the walls and through the ceilings creating water damage to apartments below.
As you can see from the photos, the leaking water filled up a glass globe around a light bulb.
Using our training and experience we were able to get the cleanup started quickly after receiving the call. Once the source of the leak is identified (in this case aka broken sprinkler pipe) and fixed we were then able to move to removing the water. Removing the excess water quickly is important before mold can start to grow within that 48 to 72 hour time frame.
After we remove the water, then we work on drying down the contents. We need to remove the excess moisture from the apartments quickly to prevent mold. In the photos below you can see the blowers we use to help facilitate drying. This can take several days depending on the moisture levels and how much flooding occurs. Using moisture meters, we check drywall for it’s moisture content level to determine how much drywall may need to be removed.
Sprinkler systems can be vulnerable to freezing during these peak below zero temps in Wisconsin. Here are a few tips for landlords and commercial properties that use sprinkler systems to protect them from freezing:
1) Check to make sure that all insulation around the system is intact (mice and squirrels love to play in insulation) and secure.
2) Annual service of heating equipment is necessary to make sure it is in proper working order and will be dependable when those temps get so low.
3) Maintain your sprinkler system properly.
4) Install a thermostat that can be monitored remotely in the ceilings where the sprinkler system is located. Create a setting to alert you when temps dip below a certain point.
5) If you have a vacant apartment or building it’s a good idea to increase the heat settings in that area when we have extended periods of cold freezing weather. Again, have a thermostat that you can monitor remotely.
No homeowner, business owner or tenant wants to go through flooding. Let’s face it, it’s a mess and a huge inconvenience. Broken sprinkler pipes can happen to any business or apartment building. Prevention is always a key to improving your odds of it not happening. However, if you find yourself in a flooding and water clean-up situation like this, call in the experts from CCS Property Services. We have the tools and the experience to help you get your building back the way it was. You can call us for all your water emergency extraction needs at 920.435.2288.