Did you know that insurance companies pay a staggering $2.5 billion for damages caused by mold and water damage? At the same time, roughly 75% of water damage comes from either the plumbing or HVAC systems. Collectively, freezing and water damage make up 15% of liability insurance claims and property damage for small businesses. These damages put a lot of strain in terms of finances and a host of other resources that can be put to better use.
Damages to commercial properties caused by heavy rain and flooding can become a hassle for business owners. And of course, insurance can cover financial losses and make the business whole again, but it is much better to stay safe in the first place. This means protecting the property from water leaks and flooding, especially in regions that experience heavy rainfall. There are some simple steps that can make a huge difference for business owners in this regard.
Here are some of the things that can help you protect your commercial property from water damage:
Perform a thorough inspection of the common sources of water damage
If you want to protect your commercial property, the ideal place to start is by going after and fixing any existing and potential sources of water damage. In order to get the best possible results, hiring a water damage restoration company is a great idea since their team of professionals is able to spot underlying issues that a normal person would miss. They also specialize in fixing the problem while it is small so that it doesn’t grow over time, leaving you with a massive repair bill eventually.
For the inspection process, you must start with the drainage system and gutters at your property and around it. Often, fallen leaves, debris, and dirt can clog the pipes, hindering normal water flow. As a result, water remains stagnant in one place and ultimately starts seeping into the walls and roof of your property. Having gutters, pipes, and downspouts inspected and cleaned regularly can significantly mitigate the chances of your property sustaining water damage, particularly during the rainy season.
Additionally, while inspecting the sources, it is great to get your HVAC system, its relevant plumbing, and other appliances checked for leaks too. Since this equipment and its piping are close to the wall, floors, and roof, water leaking from them can also damage your commercial property and business. A professional water damage restoration company can easily take care of this for you, ensuring you are prepared for all situations.
Fill in spots where water can seep in
Once the inspection is done, your next move needs to be filling in the places where water can seep into the property. This includes any existing leaks, cracks, and gaps in the property’s walls, floors, and roof. Moreover, you also need to take a look at the parking spot where potholes can serve as puddles for stagnant water. All of these places are openings from where water can gradually but surely start to damage the building.
Getting these cracks, gaps, and patches filled is essential. And it needs to be done especially before the rainy season because, in areas that receive heavy downpours, the smallest crack can let massive amounts of water in. This seeping will not only weaken the foundations of your building, but also damage the structural integrity of the walls and roof. With a reliable damage restoration company on board, you can fix these problems using caulk, spray foam, weather stripping, concrete, or a host of other sealants.
Make sure that all exposed plumbing is insulated
In the colder months, especially at night, when temperatures drop, exposed pipes are susceptible to freezing. A pipe with inadequate insulation may break because of the pressure created by frozen water. Expensive flooding or even damage to structures could result from this. By covering the pipes with insulation, which is easily found at most hardware stores, you can lessen the likelihood that this will happen. It is important to note that not only are you protecting yourself and your business, but you are also ensuring the safety of the people who work for you. Excessive water damage is known to result in causing injuries and other health problems like respiratory issues from mold that grows on damp surfaces.
Keep the roof of your property clear
It’s not just water accumulating that causes damage to commercial properties. Ice dams are a common phenomenon in places with cold temperatures and snowfall. This happens ice accumulates, particularly on the edges of the roof of your building. This hinders the flow of water just as much as leaves and debris. However, at the same time, even in places that have a mild climate, the roof is usually the first place where water becomes stagnant. Therefore, it is essential that you inspect the roof of your commercial property from time to time. It is better to get it thoroughly cleaned by professionals because they are well-versed in removing elements that can cause water damage eventually.
Place extra safety around valuable items
Protecting your property involves more than just plugging cracks and insulating the plumbing system. It is never a bad idea to place extra precautions around the most valuable items. You can start by getting a risk assessment of your property that allows you to determine the chances of flooding during monsoon season. In case your building is in a city that receives substantial rainfall, it is best to prepare in advance. If you have a manufacturing facility, it will be extremely beneficial to move equipment from the floor altogether or place them on platforms that allows them not to be submerged. This way, you don’t have to worry about replacing the equipment, which can sometimes cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
Water, mold, and freezing damage is undoubtedly the leading cause of financial damage to commercial properties. Protecting your building is the best thing you can do to avoid this. The steps you need to take include a thorough inspection by a competent team, plugging any cracks, leaks and potholes, insulating the plumbing system, keeping gutters, drains and the roof clean, and ensuring that the most valuable items at your property have extra protection. These steps are investments that help you mitigate substantial losses from water or flooding damages at your commercial property.