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Preventing spring storm damage to your building

Apr 17, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

As the seasons change and the weather heats up, spring storm damage presents a real risk to facility and maintenance managers. Heavy winds and rain can cause anything from flooding to roof and wall damage to broken windows, and more.

As a facility manager, preventing and restoring your building to mitigate some of the damage from storms this season should be top of mind.

General maintenance

Keeping your building in the best shape with general maintenance is a great way to be prepared to moderate any storm damage when the time comes. Here are a few maintenance jobs that can help protect your building during storm season:

  • Perform regular exterior inspections of your building to identify potential risk sites, should extreme weather occur. Even things like cracked caulking should be addressed to limit points of entry for water.
  • Clear out eavestroughs and trim low-hanging branches to try and decrease potential damage to your roof if high winds and heavy rains arise.
  • Window damage may be mitigated by installing storm shutters, which will protect your windows from direct exposure to the elements.
  • Weatherproof your building with high-quality paint to protect the structure and help keep moisture out.

Taking care of potential issues ahead of time will help limit the damage to your building, should a storm occur.

Jim Mandeville, SVP, Large Loss at First Onsite Property Restoration offers some tips for protecting your building from water damage and flooding:

  • Waterproof the basement, fill any cracks in the foundation, and put weather protection sealant around windows and the base of ground-level doors. Install flood shields or barriers for basement windows and doors.
  • Anchor furnaces, water heaters, and/or oil tanks to the floor. Unsecured, they may tip over or float in a flood. A ruptured tank may leak fuel, creating a serious fire and environmental hazard.
  • Check that all basement flood drains are not blocked or covered. For extra precaution, you can install a water alarm to let you know if water is accumulating.
  • Make sure the sump pump is working and install a battery-operated (or generator) backup in case of a power failure.
  • Install backflow valves on the main drain line(s). These valves automatically close if water or sewage backs up from the main sewer.
  • Make sure your downspouts extend at least six feet from the basement wall, well away from your (and neighbouring) properties.
  • Turn off the electricity ahead of time in flood-prone areas of the property if a flood is expected in your area.
  • Safety comes first when in a flooding situation. People tend to put their material goods before personal safety, which is a mistake. Make sure to do a basic risk assessment first before anything else.
  • If water is or has been above electrical components or a basement is filled with water, don’t enter until a licensed electrician has completely disconnected the power.
  • Talk to your insurance provider about flood insurance. Ensure your policy covers floods caused by water overflowing from lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water (called overland flooding) but may be available separately.
  • Stay informed. Follow the latest public weather alerts for your area.

While storms often take businesses by surprise, having a plan in place to address future damage will make your life easier and save you time and money.

RELATED: Why flooding season matters for facility maintenance managers

The post Preventing spring storm damage to your building appeared first on REMINET.

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