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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO Preventing Storm Damage To Commercial Properties

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Severe storms can bring strong winds, heavy rain, hail, and even flooding. There is never a good time for your business to experience storm damage. It’s inconvenient, frustrating, and costly. 

No matter how severe the storm damage, SERVPRO technicians are restoration experts. We will be there fast to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Here are some practical tips to prevent storm damage to your business or commercial property. 

Preventing wind and hail damage

Strong winds can damage your commercial property in a matter of minutes. It’s difficult to predict what kind of damage a storm can do ahead of time, but there are a few steps you can take to prevent property damage. 

Inspect your roof, exterior walls, and doors

Before and after major storms, inspect your roof, walls, and doors. Move from top to bottom to make sure you don’t miss anything.  

Start by inspecting the roof. Make sure all the shingles fit together correctly and are firmly nailed down. While it isn’t required, it’s a good idea to ensure your roofing is highly rated for wind and impact resistance. 

Make sure skylights and pipes are correctly sealed to prevent water damage inside the building. Regularly inspect the sheathing and connection between the roof and walls. Everything should be tightly nailed down and strong enough to withstand updrafts that can lift the roof off the building in very severe storms. 

Next, inspect the exterior walls, windows, and doors of your commercial building. Ensure the siding is firmly attached, and windows are properly sealed. For the best protection in strong windstorms, make sure all your exterior doors have triple hinges and a deadbolt lock. Install braces on any overhead doors that will withstand high winds. 

Consider installing impact-resistant glass in your windows. Impact-resistant glass prevents shattering and provides an extra layer of protection against severe wind and hail. 

Prepare your outdoor areas

Make sure any storage sheds and outbuildings are secure. Inspect their roofing, windows, siding, and doors. Securely anchor all the outbuildings if you are expecting particularly severe storms and high winds.

Check your outdoor signage, light fixtures, fences, and dumpsters. Move any equipment and inventory to safe places and anchor anything that you plan to leave outdoors. Even large, heavy items can become projectiles in strong winds. Ask your property insurance agent if you need any special endorsements to cover your signs and outbuildings.

Keep large trees and shrubs around your building pruned and healthy. Unpruned trees and landscaping can cause severe property damage. Remove unhealthy branches that are likely to fall or break in a storm. Also, remove branches that grow across each other or touch each other. Make sure trees and shrubs are not too thick, preventing the wind from blowing through or around harmlessly. 

Protect your vehicle fleet

If you own company vehicles, never park them under a tree during a severe storm. The safest place to park vehicles during a severe storm is in a garage or storage building. If that’s not possible, park your cars safely away from things that could cause damage, like branches, lampposts, and power lines. 

Preventing flood and water damage

Flooding is one of the most common and expensive weather-related disasters in the United States. Your disaster preparedness plan should outline what to do in the event of a flood. There are also steps you can take to prevent flood damage to your business. 

Clean and prep outdoor areas

Keep your gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems clean to prevent water from pooling or backing up into your building. Add extensions to downspouts to move water far away from the foundation.

Observe how water pools or moves around your property. The grading and landscaping should help water drain away from buildings. Help direct water away from your building by adding soil to low areas and adding drainage pipes where necessary. 

Check your foundation and basement

Inspect your foundation for cracks and gaps where storm water can get into your building. If you have a basement, make sure there are no cracks in the walls and ensure your sump pump is working correctly.

Elevate exposed equipment and property

Air conditioning units, fuel tanks, inventory, and inventory you store outdoors should be elevated and securely anchored.

Prevent ice damming

During winter storms, ice dams can form when the attic warms the roof, which melts the snow and causes water to drip toward the eaves. When the water re-freezes, it creates an ice dam, causing water to back up under the shingles and soak through the roof and walls. 

The easiest way to prevent ice dams is to minimize heat escaping through the ceiling with proper insulation. Make sure attic spaces have enough ventilation to draw out excess heat. Make sure your roof has waterproofing shingle underlayment that helps prevent water from leaking in.

No matter what kind of storm damage your home or commercial property might incur, SERVPRO technicians are equipped to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. We are standing by 24 hours a day to respond to any size disaster. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial restoration services. 

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