The National Weather Service claims hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30, but ask Floridians, and they’ll likely say January 1 to December 31 about covers it. Preparing for upcoming storms needs to be a year-round part of your To-Do list as a commercial building owner or manager.
Plan for the worst. Proactive business owners and facilities managers know to plan for the worst and delight in never implementing the plan. Are you fully prepared to protect your business’s roof? Do you have a comprehensive, deep-bench program to protect your flat or low-slope roof during a storm?
Your local roofer can provide ample details, but here are the highlights of a strong damage prevention plan:
- Prepare your site: Have your roofer or your facilities crew clean the roof, remove debris, and trim overhanging tree branches
- Prevent possible damage: Get a pre-storm inspection from your reliable, local roofer, your partner in protection, who can also perform maintenance such as clearing drains and sealing loose seams
- Brace for impact: Be alert to impending storms, know their precipitation potential and windspeeds, and stay in touch with your commercial roofer for immediate storm damage repair to your commercial roof
Coordinate and verify contact information for everyone you might need inside and outside your business:
- Local commercial roofer
- Power company
- Internet provider
- In-house facilities crew
- Water company
- Insurance agent
- Local law enforcement
- Water damage remediation service
- Emergency responders
Keep close touch with third parties, too, who regularly access your site, such as sign companies, radio or antenna workers, vendors, and links in your supply chain. What about the operator of the break truck that zips into your employee parking lot around lunchtime each day? Having that contact information could be a great morale booster in a sitewide emergency.
Protect personnel, property, and data. Is your data backed up off-site? How often is it backed up? How are proprietary company secrets protected?
Do you have a phone chain for contacting employees regarding closings? Have you correctly identified essential workers? Does everyone know where to go in an emergency, whether to evacuate or shelter in place?
Your facilities crew can stay vigilant in keeping clutter around your site to a minimum. Look at every object and consider if strong winds could turn it into a missile through a window.
Are trees overhanging the employee parking lot? Is a drainage grate perpetually clogged near your loading dock, so offloaded inventory or even vehicles could get flooded?
Protecting your business is all-encompassing, so you can bounce back after a storm and welcome customers, orders, and vendors before your competition.
Collect emergency supplies you may need for prevention and spot repairs, such as:
- Roofing cement, tarps, 1×4 battens, and mechanical fasteners for the roof
- Masking tape, screws, tools, and plywood for windows
- Rations and water for employees compelled to shelter in place
- LED Flashlights and batteries
- Portable radios
- Sleeping accommodations for essential workers who must remain on site
Your facilities crew can store emergency roof repair materials as close to roof access as possible to allow for fast, temporary repairs. Their job will be easier if the roof is already staged for the storm.
While a clean roof should be part of any facilities crew’s routine, with a hurricane or strong storm on the way, one last cleaning will help:
- Remove loose objects
- Clear internal drains and parapet scuppers
- Check that hatches and doors on HVAC units, electrical boxes, and other fixtures are closed and locked
- Verify electrical wires are adequately anchored to the roof to prevent whipsawing in the wind
For a professional commercial roof cleaning, enlist your local commercial roofer. Your reliable roofer’s crew will know to test flashing, seams, and mechanical fasteners. More importantly, the crew will know how to maintain or repair these areas. While slapping down roof cement over an open seam may work temporarily, proper repair is vital to preserve your roof.
The PSI Roofing team knows all about inspecting and maintaining commercial roofs. Contact us today so we can be part of your proactive storm readiness program.