Vandals caused over a quarter million dollars in damage at a Milwaukee hotel over the weekend, after tampering with a sprinkler system.
According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the incident occurred early Sunday morning at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, which is located at 509 W. Wisconsin Ave around 1 am.
Police say that they responded to the hotel after hotel employees reported a case of vandalism. Officers found that the perpetrators had tampered with the fire sprinkler system in a lower-floor public bathroom. Water from the sprinkler system seeped into the lobby and damaged drywall, wood trim, ceiling tiles, and carpeting.
Carpeting is especially susceptible to ruin from water damage, but hotel carpeting can be some of the dirtiest there is to begin with — investigations have found traces of urine on hotel carpeting, among many other surfaces.
“Water soaked carpet creates a lot of cleaning challenges,” says Daniel Brolley, Operations Manager, Windy City Carpet Cleaning Inc. “The amount of water in the carpet, if it is clean or dirty water, and how long it has been sitting there are good starting points to determine if a water soaked carpet can be saved. Best practices that we always take/recommend is to do a pre-carpet cleaning analysis to determine if a water soaked carpet can be saved. This analysis is also key in determining next steps and a carpet cleaning project plan. We would recommend to businesses and consumers alike to not attempt to perform the pre-carpet cleaning analysis and or the cleaning of the water soaked carpet on their own.”
Especially in high humidity areas or areas that aren’t well ventilated, carpets are at risk for harboring mold. Additionally, a few pounds of dirt can accumulate in and under carpeting each year. Experts recommend professional cleaning at least once a year to year and a half, but in this case replacement may be the only option.
The estimated cost of the damages caused by the vandalism is about $250,000. NBC affiliate WMTV reports that the police are still looking for the culprits.