Parents depend on schools that provide a safe environment for their children to learn. When disaster strikes, school administrators must mobilize quickly to handle property, people and processes for safety and recovery. Fire drills and other emergency response plans are practiced through the school year, but what about the recovery phase? Weather-related issues, construction mishaps, flooding and other causes of damage must be handled quickly to get your buildings up and running again. Clean Response offers these tips for preventing problems and also recovering quickly when they happen.
The winter season can affect the exterior of your school, but can also cause interior issues like frozen water pipes. Cracked or broken pipes can cause water damage to walls, flooring and furniture — and require the water to be turned off until the problem is resolved. This issue could leave your school at risk, depending on the severity of the pipe break, for closure and relocation of classes and activities.
To avoid pipe problems, take these preventative steps:
- Make sure all exterior pipes or pipes located in unheated areas are well insulated. Insulation can break down over time.
- During extreme cold weather, you may want to have your faucets drip a bit. This will reduce the chance of a freeze-up and a burst pipe.
- Inspect water valves to ensure they are in working order.
Heavy snow and ice dams can also put your school at risk for water damage. Make sure that drains are free of debris and that water is directed away from the school’s foundation.
A few of the most common areas for school water, smoke or fire damage include the kitchen, washing and restroom facilities. We have provided restoration services to schools after cooking fires as well as malfunctioning dishwashers, sinks, toilets and laundry dryers.
Regular inspections can prevent such damage, but in the case of a mishap it is critical that examination and cleaning happen immediately to reduce the severity of damage and the possibility of mold growth. If handled improperly, mold can easily grow on organic materials such as ceiling tiles, books and paper, and in furniture like desks and chairs. As you may know, mold can cause symptoms such as skin and eye irritation, wheezing and nasal congestion. Smoke damage is also a serious cause of air quality problems, and often requires more cleaning and restoration beyond the site of the fire due to ventilation systems carrying smoke farther into the building.
Clean Response provides 24-hour response services for minor to serious cases of water or fire damage, including insurance estimates and reconstruction specialists to expedite recovery. By being proactive, your school leaders reduce the chance of serious damage and the possibility of closing down for an extended period of time.
Clean Response supports the Minnesota Educational Facility Management Professionals Association (MASMS). To learn more about Clean Response’s work with schools, watch this video of our unique floor drying process for a school gymnasium that saved the school thousands in replacement costs. As always, Clean Response is a phone call away and ready to work with your school.