Water damage is the number one cause of property damage in the US. And that only one out of five homes suffers water damage. Commercial properties, on the other hand, are much more susceptible. Not only are many commercial properties not owner-occupied and so lacking in owner vigilance, but commercial property owners often do not have enough coverage, or their coverage is not robust enough. So if an individual owns a commercial property of any kind–residential or otherwise–here’s how to prevent water from causing costly headaches down the line.
1. Property Inspection
Several things can go amiss in a building over time, and a person has to keep his eyes open for them. Look for broken windows or window screens, problems with gutters or downspouts, small cracks in the foundation, peeling paint on the exterior of the building–the list goes on and on.
If minor repairs are made at the earliest sign of trouble, it will be much cheaper to fix them before they grow into something more expensive. Even if they are not the building owner, they can still offer to help by pointing out problems that they’ve noticed.
Early inspection will also help spot problems in the structure of the building, including serious ones like termites, rot, or leaks. A building is only as strong as its weakest material, and some may not be as obvious as others.
A thorough inspection can also help to catch problems that may not be obvious. If the roof starts to sag, gaps in the walls, cracks in the foundation, or things like faulty wiring, insulation, or pipes inside buildings–those all need to be addressed immediately.
2. Insurance Cover
Commercial property owners should consider insuring against flood damage. As homes become more and more at risk from flood, it’s time to consider insuring against floodwaters. There are two primary types of flood insurance: National Flood Insurance and private flood insurance. National Flood Insurance is a government program that offers coverage to any building built on a federal or state-designated flood plain. It is very inexpensive and available for renewing up to five years at a time. If they have a home in a flood-prone area, they should take advantage of this program. Private flood insurance is a very flexible program and can cover many risks–everything from fire to hail to the wind.
In addition to installing flood protection precautions, owners must watch for the signs that the flood-protection measures are about to break down. If one sees any flashing warnings on their property’s system, this means that their insurance is likely expiring at any moment. Take note and move quickly to find a new insurer. If the flood protection fails, the property owner will be out of luck–and money.
Many people think that flood damage is covered under a homeowners insurance policy. This is only true up to a certain amount for a certain number of years and may not cover everything. One should check their current insurer if they’re not sure how much coverage they have.
3. Insulation of Exposed Pipes
One of the most important things that a building owner can do to deal with the threat of water damage is tune up their pipes. If a building doesn’t have proper insulation to protect its pipes, it’ll get clogged and cause problems.
Once they’ve made sure that their pipes are insulated, make sure they insulate all of their plumbing fixtures. Even when they’re not in use, rest assured that they’re susceptible to the freezing and bursting of pipes when winter comes. Insulated fixtures are also safer for the environment, reducing the number of waste products produced.
Every time they service their plumbing system, consider sealing off anything that has not been insulated. Insulated steel tubing is not only more energy-efficient, but they are also impervious to the damaging effects of water. Water will bead off of them instead of being absorbed by them. Everything’s better when they are insulated!
They can do all this repair with the help of professionals such as Restoration1.com. Restoration1 can help them avoid water damage by starting from early signs.
4. Hire a Professional
Restoration1 recommends hiring a professional rather than trying to take care of the problem on their own. If they fail to seal off plumbing pipes properly, water can get in and begin causing problems. If they don’t understand the intricacies of flood protection, installing it themself is likely to lead to problems. Professional flood protection contractors know exactly what they’re doing and how to work with individuals.
Without proper training, the potential for disaster is very high. They should ask Restoration1 to help them develop a plan of action that they can implement immediately after the inspection and then follow it diligently.
They can also advise them on how to prevent water damage in the future. Many things that cause damage are preventable, and Restoration1 can help them identify the most significant ones.
5. Landscaping Techniques
While it may seem counterintuitive, landscaping is a great thing for protecting a building from the effects of water. Even if a piece of flooding washes away a wall or a doorway, plants can help out by acting as natural barriers. Potted plants will help to protect a building from weathering and other environmental factors.
However, the main thing they should remember when landscaping their property is that some plants can harm their pipes. Certain plants can grow around a pipe, eventually growing into it and clogging the pipe. Make sure that they don’t put any of these kinds of plants near their most sensitive areas!
At the very least, they can plant these plants around their property to serve as a barrier against flooding. As they go, they should make sure that they remove any old plants that are dying or struggling to thrive in their current environment. They should remove any wild vegetation growing in the area, even if it’s not inside their property.
When it comes to prevention, things are pretty simple. The only way to truly be safe is to take the time to inspect their property for potential dangers with the help of professionals such as Restoration1. They have a large database of problems and solutions a person can use to protect their property from water damage. Prevention is the most reliable form of protection, so they strongly recommend that homeowners implement all of these techniques.