When I was younger, we used to live in a two-story house that had solid foundations and was nowhere near what you would call a water damage prone area. That’s what I thought. Heavy rains, floods, or stagnating water on the ground may be the natural causes of water damage that one automatically thinks of, but I learned the hard way that even a mere oversight and a poor sense of responsibility can also do much harm.
We came home one day to find our laundry area and the adjoining storage space flooded. The water was up to 8 inches in height with boxes and boxes of stuff half submerged, shoes, toys, books --- the works! Turns out the household help forgot to turn off the hose that was supplying water to the washing machine, left the room to do other chores, and came back an hour later to find the sorry sight. There was no room for the water to go because the drain was already clogged; unable to keep up with the volume of water it was suddenly absorbing.
It took some time and a lot of mopping to remove the stagnating water from the storeroom, and even more patience to sort through the damage the flooding water caused. Note that it wasn’t just plain water getting the items wet, but water mixed with soap suds and thick dust that had already settled in the room, resulting to a slimy, muddy type of water. Although there really was not much financial loss involved in that instance, I was really sorry to see some of my favorite books and other childhood memorabilia ruined by water damage.
Fast forward some ten years later, we now run a water purifying and refilling station and recently, put up a cell phone and accessories shop adjacent to it. Water damage once again came to wreak havoc.
As a simple background explanation, there are two huge tanks of water involved in the water purifying business. One for the tap water, which goes through a 16-stage distilling process, and on to the second tank which stores the now clean water all ready for bottling. The machine is constantly turned on during the day, and it still does another batch during the night, if voluminous orders are anticipated the following day. The whole process takes about 4-5 hours, so if the evening cycle started at 7 pm, the machine would have to be turned off at around 12 midnight. Failing to do this would result in water overflowing from both tanks! Just think how much water damage this situation could lead to.
But this is exactly what happened one time when the personnel on special duty that night slept right through the whole thing and failed to wake up to stop the operation. Water ran from the water station right to the area at the back which is shared by both businesses. While it was definitely a lot of wasted water for the refilling station, it translated to even more loss for the cell phone business because most of the unopened stocks, cell phones, simcards and accessories, still on the floor were soaked wet, some no longer usable.
Be it in our homes, businesses, or workplaces, water damage can really catch us off guard and when it does, there’s nothing left to do but pick up the pieces.