A common problem in the spring months for much of Canada and the United States is the risk of flooding from the melting of snow and the rising of rivers and other waterways. As we are seeing particularly in Canada over the past few weeks, flooding is ravaging communities here in our neck of the woods as well as in many others.
While the priority for assistance is focused primarily on residential properties (as it should be), those working in facility operation or management also know how detrimental Acts of God such as flooding can have on their facility.
That said, flooding from natural disasters is not the only risk these operators face with regards to water damage. Leaking roofs and faulty sprinkler systems, for example, can also wreak havoc on gymnasiums if too much time passes.
While none of us are equipped with the power of a crystal ball for forecasting such tragedies, there is a certain level of prevention that can take place in facilities to help mitigate the risks of water damage. When it comes to leaking roofs or sprinkler systems, having them routinely checked by trained professionals can often catch problems before they occur. Additionally, if your facility is in an area prone to flooding, the preparation and use of sandbags during this time of the year can often save an expensive wooden floor, depending on how high the water levels go.
While prevention is what we all aim for, oftentimes we are faced with treating the situation after the fact. When it comes to gymnasium flooring, it really depends on the amount of water that was able to penetrate the flooring itself. In the case of a small leak on only a portion of the flooring, be sure it gets cleaned up as soon as possible and assess the minimal damage, if any.
When it comes to full-scale flooding, it is extremely dependent on how long it is left to sit. As water begins to soak into subflooring surfaces (often plywood), it will quickly delaminate and begin to expand. Once the subfloor expands, the wooden flooring surface above is not far behind.
In the event you are able to get at the flooding in a timely matter and remove all water before a lot of swelling has occurred, your best bet is to enlist the help of a dehumidifier. Getting the humidity level of the room and the moisture level of the wood back to normal levels is imperative to minimize the damage and therefore the cost of repairs and/or potential replacement.