Protecting Your Commercial Property During Storms

As a business owner, protecting your property should be one of your top priorities. From Spring storms to Summer downpours, Mother Nature can cause considerable damage to commercial properties if you are not adequately prepared. And, with the unpredictable weather patterns we are currently faced with, it’s more important than ever to know how best to protect your investments from costly damage.
Image of a storm with lightning bolting to the ground.

In this article, you will learn about the steps to better safeguard your commercial property during seasonal storms – from reinforcing loose signage to getting regular roof inspections.


Check the Local Weather Forecast for Upcoming Storms

It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest weather forecast in order to be prepared for any storms that could affect your city. Make sure you and/or your managers are on the lookout for tornadoes, strong winds, and heavy rain that can cause damage to property and potential danger to personal safety.


Keep Things Clean and Repaired to Reduce Damage From High Winds

Securing any loose signage, cleaning parking lot debris, and keeping overhanging tree branches trimmed back are important steps to take in order to reduce property damage during high winds. Loose items tend to become airborne projectiles when exposed to strong gusts, causing significant destruction, while heavy branches can snap off under the strain and cause far-reaching devastation. This relatively simple preparation task can help minimize unnecessary loss due to unexpected weather conditions.


Inspect Your Roof for Potential Weak Points That Could Be Vulnerable to Rain or Hail Damage

Making sure your roof is in top condition is an important part of owning your business. Even a small crack or loose tile can cause serious damage if not fixed promptly. To prevent this, it’s wise to routinely inspect your roof for any potential risks. The standard rule of thumb in the roofing industry is to have your commercial-grade roof inspected twice each year. It is best to have it examined by a professional in spring and fall, before entering each extreme season. You’ll want them to look for visible signs of wear and tear such as missing tiles, cracks, gaps between shingles, or other weak points. Remember that roofs are constantly exposed to the elements; heavy rain, constant heat and humidity, hail, intense cold, and snow all affect roof structures’ strength and durability.


Have a Trusted Professional Inspect and Repair Any Weak Spots in Your Foundation or Siding

The foundation and siding of your property also provide a layer of protection against the elements as well as lasting structural stability. To ensure that these protective systems are safeguarding your structure as they should be, it’s important to have them inspected on a regular basis by an experienced professional. Areas that are discovered to be weak or have been damaged can then be repaired right away, preventing any potential issues before they become major problems.


Prepare and Share a Safety Plan For Your Employees

In today’s uncertain world, it is essential that employers take proactive measures to keep their employees safe. The best way to do this is to create and share a safety plan with all members of your staff. Such a plan should include protocols for responding to potential dangers, rules that must be followed in the workplace, and guidelines for reporting any incidents. Finally, it’s important that the plan be reviewed on a regular basis — any changes to company policy should be communicated promptly and clearly.

Don’t wait until a storm has already hit and it’s too late! Before any potential disasters strike, make sure to check your local weather forecast for upcoming storms, clean up loose signage or debris that could cause damage during high winds, inspect your roof, siding, and foundation for weak spots and have a professional repair those if needed, and prepare a safety plan to help keep employees safe.


What to Do After Severe Weather

We all realize preparation is important but so is understanding which insurance coverage options may be available to you when an unavoidable disaster strikes. Our claims team can help!

Unfortunately, you can be well-prepared and still experience loss. If a storm has damaged your commercial property, here are the initial steps you should take:

    1. Assess the damage. Walk around the interior and exterior of your building to determine the full extent of the damage. Note any broken windows, leaking roofs, fallen trees or debris, flooding, or structural damage. Take pictures to document the damage.
    2. Contact your insurance provider. Most commercial property insurance policies will cover damage from storms and natural disasters. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. They may send an adjuster to inspect the property and estimate the cost of repairs or replacements.
    3. Secure the building. If there are any holes in the roof, broken windows, or other vulnerabilities, cover them up temporarily to prevent further damage to the interior. You may need to board up windows or place tarps over holes. Remove any fallen trees or debris from the area.
    4. Organize necessary repairs. Work with your insurance company and contractors to organize the necessary repairs to get your business up and running again. Prioritize any issues affecting safety or preventing access to the building. The claims process can take time, so start repairs as soon as possible even if you haven’t received payment yet.
    5. Inform employees and customers. Let your employees and customers know that you are working to repair any storm damage and will reopen as soon as possible. Share an estimated timeline for reopening and any impacts on payroll, services, or events. Be transparent about the situation to maintain trust and support.

It’s always best to be prepared in the event of an emergency, such as extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen events. But sometimes even the most carefully planned preparations can be disrupted. That’s why our reliable claims team is available to assist with any problems you may encounter before or after a storm hits. Don’t hesitate to contact them when you need help filing a claim or getting the resources you need right away.

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