If your business is in an area prone to powerful storms, taking precautionary measures to avoid flooding and storm damage is necessary. Otherwise, you might end up paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the damage, apart from losing revenue from having to close for repairs.
Don’t wait for the next storm to happen before taking action. Here are the necessary steps that can help you protect your place of business in the event of a raging storm:
1. Clear storm grates
Clear debris and ice from storm grates or trench gates for driveways before the weather turns sour. If grates are left clogged, heavy rainfall can easily cause flooding and cause water damage to nearby structures. As soon as you see debris accumulating in the storm drain, such as leaves, pebbles, or litter, clear it with a rake or pitchfork.
However, if there is debris that you cannot remove by yourself, alert the city right away.
2. Clean the roof
If your business is in a standalone building, ensure that you don’t let debris accumulate on the roof to prevent structural and water damage. Otherwise, the weight of the debris can weaken the roof, which, in turn, can make the roof give way, especially when paired with heavy rainfall and strong winds.
3. Scout for potential risks
Before a storm comes your way, you must check your building’s surroundings for any potential threats, including large branches, broken roof shingles, loosely installed signage, among others. Address these potential risks right away to prevent them from causing damage to your building, surrounding structures, and everyone around it.
4. Install shutters
Powerful winds can easily break your glass doors and windows, effectively damaging everything inside the store and risking the safety of everyone who comes near the shards. To avoid this potentially devastating problem, install steel or aluminum storm shutters before the winds start picking up. Not only do storm shutters protect your glass against strong gusts of wind, but they also prevent breakage caused by flying objects.
5. Raise important equipment
If your area is prone to flooding, it is an excellent precautionary measure to raise all of your essential equipment a few feet off the ground in case the water gets into your building.
6. Install a floodgate
Invest in flood barrier systems if you live in an area that is prone to high levels of flooding. Installing floodgates at all of your entrances keeps floodwater out and helps protect your business from water damage, as well as reduces the amount of clean up needed after the storm.
7. Relocate valuable items
Store valuable items in higher levels of the building to prevent them from getting damaged by water in the event of a flood. If there is enough time, consider packing all of your valuables and moving them to high ground before you evacuate.
8. Fix cracks and gaps
Inspect your building and find out if there are any cracks, gaps, or holes in the exterior and foundation. If you find any, seal them with caulk, weather stripping, or other sealants to reduce the risk of water getting inside during a storm as well as make your building more energy-efficient.
9. Remove loose outdoor items
Remove any signage, planters, chairs, and any other loose items outside of your store to prevent them from getting blown away by the wind. For heavier items such as outdoor tables or benches, tie them down securely to stronger structures if you can’t bring them inside the building.
10. Trim the greenery
If your business property has plants, bushes, and trees, have an arborist come over and trim them in preparation of the oncoming storm. Doing this will reduce the amount of debris that you have to clean up later on, as well as prevent loose branches from hitting nearby structures. If you don’t want to hire an arborist, you can trim hedges and branches yourself as long as you have the proper equipment and skills.
It can take only a devastating storm to undo all the hard work you’ve poured into your business, so don’t take the risk. If a storm is coming, start taking precautionary measures as soon as possible to minimize (or even eliminate) the risk of damage to your business.