When owning a business or home in a coastal area, it is important to know that there is always a possibility for damages when hurricane season rolls around. While hurricanes winds usually cause a large amount of damage on their own, the storm surge that follows usually causes most of the flood damage. A storm surge is created when a hurricane is more powerful than the force of the 120 mph winds. Unfortunately, this is bad news for the 4.2 million residents that line the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, and the $1.1 trillion worth of property that is vulnerable to severe flood damage. To add to that, over half of the U.S’ economic productivity is present along coastal zones. Floods are unpredictable and unpreventable, but you can prepare now to reduce resulting damage from water, and the impact that it leaves upon your residence.
There are a couple types of damages that are caused by storm surges, and they are as follows: loss of business, damage to coastal roads, mold growth in buildings, building damage or displacement, damage to the property itself and assets, and port closures. All of these are equally damaging and stressful events that no home or business owner should have to go through, yet it happens yearly through hurricane season.
Hurricane season follows on the tails of springtime storms, and the best way to reduce the damage caused by storm surges is to be proactive and take preventative steps well before the start of hurricane season.
The first tip would to build higher or to reinforce your building structure. If you own the building and it is economically profitable, you should determine the base flood elevation of your business’ property and build above that point. Otherwise, you should consider hiring someone to reinforce the building structure.
If your building is located in a two-story property, go higher. You should move the computers, technical equipment, and valuable assets to the second floor of the building. This is a smart move, as it will protect against your items getting wiped out during a storm surge.
Install back-flow valves in the buildings sewer lines, as this will prevent municipal sewage from entering your property if there is a storm surge. Elevating electrical systems like switches, and outlets, above your areas flood level is also a smart move. You could also use cinder blocks to raise appliances.
Always choose materials that have a high evaporation rate and that will dry fast. Wet drywall and wet carpeting are very vulnerable to the growth of mold, which will be an ongoing issue if it isn’t taken care of accordingly. Upgrade any of your building materials to ones that dry quickly when they get wet, such as wood flooring.
It is in your best interest to invest in some hurricane shutters. If money is tight or if the demand for hurricane shutters is high, you can also use plywood. You can bypass all of the commotion at a lumber store by installing commercial-grade hurricane shutters over windows and doors.
You can avoid flood damage restoration by preparing right now for unexpected floods and storm surges. Even with little time to prepare, taking inventory of your valuables and determining a plan of action can save you time, energy and money.
If you are in need of flood damage restoration, you should contact a team of professionals that can accurately restore your property back to pre-loss condition.