Now that the rainy season is officially upon us, it’s important for commercial businesses to take steps to ensure their property is prepared for wet weather.
Heavy rains can cause flooding, power outages, mold growth, and other serious problems, so it’s crucial to be proactive in order to avoid significant damage or disruption to your business.
Here are some key tips to prepare your commercial property for the rainy season:
1. Review your facility’s drainage system
Review your facility’s drainage system for any potential blockages or clogs that could prevent water from draining properly. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris so that they can effectively channel water away from your building. Install drains or culverts to redirect runoff away from buildings and parking areas. In instances of heavy rainfall, consider installing a sump pump to help remove water that has accumulated in your basement or crawl space.
2. Have a detailed plan
Have a plan in place. This should cover everything from what to do in the event of a flood or power outage, to how you will communicate with employees and customers if your business is forced to close. Make sure all employees are aware of the plan and know their roles and responsibilities.
3. Be prepared
No matter how well prepared you think you may be, there’s always a chance that something can go wrong. Have a backup plan in place for your building’s critical systems (such as your HVAC system).
Severe weather can lead to power outages. Prepare for this possibility by investing in a backup generator for your facility to ensure that your business stays up and running even if the power goes out. Test your generator regularly (at least once a month) to ensure that it is in good working condition. Have a ready supply of fuel on hand so that you can run your generator for extended periods of time, if necessary.
In the event of heavy rainfall, you’ll need a way to remove stormwater from your property quickly. Should your building’s basements or first floor become flooded, large mobile pumps should be accessible to pump water out as quickly as possible.
4. Identify potential weak spots
Identify potential weak spots on your property that could be susceptible to flooding or water damage. These areas may include basement windows, doors, and other openings that are lower to the ground. Inspect these areas and make sure they are properly sealed and weatherproofed. Check for any cracks or gaps in your foundation that could allow water to seep in.
5. Inspect your roof
Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements. Inspect it regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached and in good condition. Consider installing a waterproofing membrane under your roof to further protect your property from moisture. A leaking roof during a heavy rainstorm can cause serious damage to your facility, so carry out any necessary repairs as soon as possible.
6. Have a plan for mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems, so it’s important to have a plan for dealing with these growths if they occur in your facility. Be sure to clean and dry any wet areas quickly to prevent mold from taking hold. If you do find mold in your facility, be sure to remove it safely and effectively to protect the health of your employees and customers. Mold and mildew in certain areas can be an indication of a larger problem, so be sure to have your facility inspected by a professional if you suspect there may be an issue.
7. Move valuable equipment and inventory to higher ground
If your facility is prone to flooding, it’s important to store valuable items and equipment off the ground in a safe location. This will help protect your belongings from water damage in the event of a flood. Keep a stock of critical supplies (such as food, water, and medicine) in a safe location that is not susceptible to flooding.
8. Ensure your AC equipment is properly maintained
Your AC system is a key area to focus on when preparing for the rainy season. Make sure your system is properly serviced and maintained so that it can effectively remove moisture from the air. This will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your facility.
9. Take steps to prevent slip and fall accidents
Wet floors are a common cause of slip-and-fall accidents. Take steps to prevent these accidents in your facility by placing mats at all entrances to absorb moisture and dirt. Additionally, make sure to post signs warning employees and customers of wet floor conditions. Regularly mopping and waxing floors will also help create a slip-resistant surface.
10. Have your cleaning crew on standby
During the rainy season, it’s important to have a professional cleaning crew on standby to deal with any water damage or flooding that may occur. Ensure they are able to respond quickly and effectively to any emergency. Professional crews will have their own equipment and supplies, so they will be able to get your facility back up and running quickly. Know where your critical shut-off valves are located so you can quickly shut off water to your facility.
11. Stock up on supplies
Have a supply of sandbags and other materials on hand in case you need to divert water away from your facility. Install flood barriers around the perimeter of the property. These can include sandbags, water-activated flood bags, levees, or barriers made of concrete or plastic. Have a supply of wet-vacuum cleaners and other equipment on hand to deal with any water damage that does occur.
12. Review your insurance policy
Make sure you are properly insured for the risks associated with severe weather conditions. Review your insurance policy to ensure that you have the appropriate coverage in place. If necessary, purchase additional insurance to protect your business from the effects of severe weather.
13. Prepare your employees
Ensure that your employees are aware of your severe weather preparedness plan and know what to do in the event of a storm. Make sure they know how to safely operate any equipment they may need to use, such as generators or pumps. Additionally, provide them with contact information for key personnel (such as the facility manager, insurance agent, and emergency services) in case they need to reach someone outside of the office.
14. Stay Informed
Keep up to date on the latest weather conditions and advisories from local officials. This will help you make informed decisions about when to implement your severe weather preparedness plan. Additionally, be sure to have a way to communicate with your employees during a power outage (such as a generator-powered phone or computer).
15. Call in a professional
If you’re not sure how to properly prepare your facility for severe weather, call in a professional. A qualified consultant can help you assess the risks associated with severe weather and develop a comprehensive preparedness plan tailored to your specific needs. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your facility is ready for whatever the weather may bring.
Severe weather can cause significant damage and disruption. However, by planning ahead and taking the necessary precautions, you can minimize the impact that bad weather has on your operations. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your facility is prepared for the worst that the rainy season has to offer.
Servus is always here to help. Our facility management teams are highly trained and experienced in all aspects of commercial facility management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare your facility for the rainy season.