When you own or manage a commercial property or building, you have a lot of responsibilities to worry about, and one of those duties is to protect tenants, employees, and your property in the event of catastrophic damage.
For some commercial property owners, not planning ahead or knowing what to do in the event of a catastrophic storm can not only be time-consuming, but it can also disrupt the flow of business and be costly in the long-term. However, with a proper plan in place, you can prepare your property and tenants to help your business get back to normal as quickly and as safely as possible.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all aspects of preparing for storm damage and what to do after it occurs. With this helpful list of tips, you can protect your commercial property, as well as the people who occupy it.
Storm Damage Checklist for Property Managers
Assess the Damage
If you’re confident that the bad weather is over and it’s safe to examine your commercial property, your first step will be to assess the damage for yourself and make sure that all of your buildings are secure. Before doing so, however, it’s critical to know that if your commercial property sustained catastrophic damage after a significant storm, the property could be hazardous. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure you are being as safe as possible while doing so.
The following are important places you will want to inspect.
Exterior of the Building While inspecting the exterior of your property, you will want to check for any signs of visible damage, such as broken gutters or structural components that are missing. For instance, there might be a clear gap in your roof or pieces of tiles or gutters that are scattered throughout the property.
Interior of the Building Next, you will also want to inspect the interior of your property safely. Check for water damage and stains on the walls and floors, particularly on the ground floor, and be sure to also inspect for damp insulation, water leaks, and broken windows. It is also crucial that you check any floors in your building that are below ground level for signs of flood damage.
Roof As previously mentioned, the roof is another location that is extremely vulnerable to storm damage. If you experienced any strong winds, lightning strikes, or heavy rain, check for any holes in the roof, missing shingles, potential leaks, or any signs of significant hail damage.
Trees Fallen trees and tree limbs can cause billions of dollars of damage each year following significant storms. While your insurance policy can help cover the cost of removal and repair depending on your level of coverage, it’s better to be aware of any tree damage rather than being caught by surprise.
While performing your own inspection, if possible, remember to take photos of any damage that was caused by the storm. This will help inspectors know what to expect when they come to visit your property. Pictures will also be useful when speaking with your insurance adjuster, which we will discuss in the next step.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
After you have assessed the damage, your next step should be to contact your insurance company. Depending on the extent of the property damage, this part of the process may take a significant amount of time. In some cases, it can take up to thirty days to complete.
It’s critical to keep in mind that you must respond to your claim within fourteen days. Once all of the information is available, and your insurance claim has been approved, your insurance company has up to ninety days to send you a check to repair the damage.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your insurance details up to date and conveniently accessible at all times, either in your wallet or on your phone, so that you don’t have to go to your commercial property to get the details of your policy. Especially if it’s not safe to do so.
Contact a Storm Damage Professional Contractor
After you have spoken with your insurance provider, your next call should be to contact experienced storm damage professionals as soon as possible. Waiting too long after a major storm can cause secondary damage to your property, such as mold and mildew, so you will want to have a professional inspect the property at your earliest convenience.
How to Protect Your Commercial Property for the Future
A catastrophe can hit your commercial property at any moment, but having a proper plan in place can help you act quickly, potentially minimize the damage caused, and save you time, trouble, and money in the long run. Here are a few essential steps you can take to keep your property better prepared for storm damage.
As a commercial property owner, you have legal responsibilities to your tenants to be prepared to deal with any type of emergency. Regularly seek out advice from legal representatives and input from insurance providers and human resources departments to ensure that you’ve covered all of the necessary steps.
Notify and Prepare Tenants
Regardless of what type of commercial property you oversee, ensure that anyone who has daily access to the property knows what to do in the event of an emergency situation. As a property manager, it’s critical that you do everything you can to help keep your tenants safe. Putting a concrete plan in motion before an emergency occurs is a vital part of this and can include anything from a phone call, text message, email, or community message board posting.
Additionally, you will also want to inform your tenants of any disruption of service as a result of the major storm. When notifying your tenants, direct them to follow all emergency preparedness recommendations, including putting together an emergency kit of critical items that they may need for at least 72 hours after a major storm. In addition, inform your tenants that they may want to keep personal documents in a waterproof bin until the storm is over.
Prepare Necessary Documents
If you know a significant storm is approaching, create copies of all necessary documents and relevant details related to your commercial property that you may need to share with your insurance company in the event of catastrophic storm damage. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do so is by having all of your files securely stored in a cloud backup or external storage device.
Prepare Your Property
Last but certainly not least, you will also want to prepare your property for the upcoming storm. This can include collecting and securing any loose items such as outdoor furniture or construction materials and might also involve covering windows, disconnecting gas valves, and shutting off any elevators for the duration of the storm.
If your property has any structural vulnerabilities, be sure to have a list of contractors you can call afterward to help resolve any issues that may arise.
The HL Restoration Process
We’ve been in the property restoration business for a long time, and we’ve seen the effects of catastrophic storm damage. With our help, you will be able to quickly determine what needs to be done in the event of storm damage to get your commercial property back up and running.
- After contacting HL Restoration, a member of our storm restoration team will perform a detailed inspection of your commercial property to assess the extent of the damage.
- Upon completing the inspection, we will decide what type of equipment we will need to use to restore your property, such as advanced vacuums and pumps to drain water from the impacted areas or generators to run our air movers and dehumidifiers to protect your property from mold and mildew.
- Once the area has been cleaned, we will continue to oversee your property’s restoration and keep you up to date on all improvements.
Contact the Storm Restoration Experts at HL Restoration Today
When tragedy hits your commercial property, you need a storm restoration expert to help return your property back to normal. At HL Restoration, we have over eighty years of consistency and experience in storm restoration in the Kansas City region and nearby communities. With our help, you and your commercial property can be better prepared for storm damage and any other emergency situation in the future.
Alongside our staff of trained technicians and storm restoration experts and state-of-the-art equipment, HL Restoration has the experience and know-how to get the job done right, and we remain committed to excellence and leaving our customers satisfied. Our range of 24/7 storm repair and emergency rehabilitation services includes:
- Water Mitigation & Restoration
- Fire and Smoke Restoration
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Construction Defects
- Biohazard Cleanup
Property damage and damage to your home caused by extreme weather like lightning storms and winter storms can be catastrophic to your business, which means you need a storm restoration service you can rely on to have the necessary repairs done quickly and safely. At HL Restoration, we offer professional emergency cleaning and restoration services to get your commercial property back to life with minimal disruption.