If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (804) 378-2323

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Protect Your Business From Floods

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Floods cause more damage to homes and businesses every year than any other natural disaster. They can happen almost anywhere and are especially prevalent in places that are situated near bodies of water. Floods can move quickly, be widespread, and leave a wake of severe property damage, mud, and debris in their path. Even if your business is not near a body of water you can still fall victim to flooding from big storms, snow melt or storm drain failure. You can check with your local zoning administrator to find out if your business is situated within a special flood zone or not and decide the level of risk your business has for flooding. Whether your risk is small or large, it’s still important to keep potential flooding in mind when considering how to protect your business from natural disasters. Here are a few things that you should think about regarding your business and flood protection:

Basements – Basements are often one of the first places that experience flooding during a storm. You should consider what would happen should water enter that space. If you use that space as storage, consider using waterproof storage containers. If you have equipment there you should consider keeping it on platforms, so they’re protected. Additionally, you should also be sure that your building has a sump pump installed and it is functioning correctly, as this will be your first line of defense from flood/groundwater intrusion. At the very least, be sure to keep an accurate inventory and photos of all items in the basement for insurance purposes. You can also consider including an area in your emergency plans that outlines the proper steps to ensure the safety of those items if flooding is expected.

Utilities – If you’re in a flood prone area, if feasible you should consider keeping utilities such as your HVAC systems on upper levels or even the attic to protect them. Check your local flood map information and be sure that your electrical utilities are raised above the base flood level in your local area. This includes fuses, meters, breaker boxes, switches, and outlets, all of which are easily damaged by flood waters and additionally can pose serious fire risks with prolonged water exposure. If you have a fuel tank, take precautions to make sure that it is sufficiently anchored in place. It takes less than a foot of water to float most cars, so fuel tanks are definitely not out of the question. Should they get moved around and become disconnected you run the risk of contaminating everything with oil, or worse a huge fire hazard due to the spilled fuel.

Drains and Sewage – Again, your sump pump is one of the most crucial items you can have in protecting your business from flood/groundwater. Be sure that it is functional with regular inspections and that there is a source of backup power for it should the electricity go out. If there is a floor drain in your building, you can install a floating plug. In areas where flooding is prevalent, it’s also not uncommon for sewer and storm drains to become overwhelmed and back up into homes and businesses through the sewer lines. To help prevent this you can install backflow valves in your drainpipes.

Exterior - The landscape around your building can also play a role in helping to prevent flooding. Make sure that there are no areas where water can pool around the property and that the land is properly graded so that water flows away from your building. Check the seals around doors and windows for any cracks or other damage yearly after the winter months in preparation for the warmer, wetter weather. Your gutters should also be inspected and cleaned regularly, along with ensuring the downspouts are aimed properly, away from the building.

Other Preparations – You should have an emergency action plan that includes what to do during natural disasters and make sure that this is properly communicated to all relevant team members. SERVPRO offers a free service to businesses called the Emergency Ready Program, that helps with creating documentation of all important areas and contact information should an emergency happen in your building. Give us a call if you’d like to learn more and set this up for your business! You should also have flood protection for your business, which can be purchased through the federal National Flood Insurance Program.

As you can see, there’s quite a few things that you can do to help limit your risks of serious damage during a flood. Unfortunately, there’s always the possibility that flooding in your business is unavoidable, but you can still take steps to help reduce the amount of damage the water can cause which will in turn help you get your business back up and running faster. If you’ve suffered from water damage of any kind you should always contact a professional company for help with resolving the issue. SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus is a leader in the water damage restoration industry, and our highly trained team is available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency service.

Other News

View Recent Posts