Vehicle Impact Case Study
Business owners love to see customers pull up in their parking lot. But sometimes, the customer can mistake the brake for the gas and make a grand entrance into the building – straight through a wall!
How can a business prepare for a vehicle impact? One of the few ways to truly prepare is to ensure that employee workspaces are stationed a few feet away from exterior walls. The second way to prepare is to know which restoration company to call when the specialty damage occurs.
PHC assisted a local business owner after a vehicle collided with their dry cleaning operation early one morning. The driver claimed their cruise control failed to deactivate and they were unable to stop the vehicle. The car drove through a brick wall and came to a stop when it hit the dry cleaners’ press equipment, located about 10 feet into the building.
The business owner made contact with PHC once the building inspector deemed it safe to shore up the property and allow the business to remain open. From there, PHC was on site within an hour to begin the emergency services phase of the project, immediately placing air scrubbers in the building to assist with clearing the air of the collision debris and the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process. Drying equipment was set up to assist with the aftermath of the accident that included a damaged water cooler and steam line. The exterior wall was boarded up to keep the building secure and the occupants safe.
PHC’s emergency response team worked quickly to understand the business owner’s needs and devise a plan that allowed them to continue their operations and serve their customers while reconstructing the building. A containment barrier was built around the affected area, blocking off the site of the impact from the unaffected portion of the building. This allowed crews to access the worksite without disrupting the business operations. Customers were able to enter and exit the building without seeing any signs of reconstruction taking place.
The business owner chose to install a metal overhead door in place of a small exterior door that was damaged. PHC worked with a mason and garage door company to install a door and make it appear to be part of the original design of the building.
A key element of a successful vehicle impact reconstruction project is making the building appear as nothing ever happened at all. This requires expert material selection and skilled tradespeople to match the design and materials of the existing building. PHC delivered a “good as new” result for this local business and gave them something they’ve always wanted… an overhead door to make it easier to load their delivery vehicle! But most of all, their doors stayed open, their employees were able to come to work, and their customers’ needs were met.