How To Write A Hurricane Preparedness Plan For Your Flat Roof

As a commercial property owner or facilities manager, you know you should do it. You want to do it. But you just do not know how to write a hurricane preparedness plan. Fortunately, your local, reliable commercial roofer can help. 

Pessimist, Optimist

You plan as a pessimist and rejoice as an optimist. A hurricane preparedness plan requires you to prepare for the worst. Conscientious business owners and facilities managers should always plan for the kind of grueling, rough weather Mother Nature can throw at Florida annually. Then, if the plan never emerges from a drawer, file cabinet, or computer, great! 

But consider what could happen to your company if you never planned for a hurricane, had substantial damage to your commercial roof, and had no ready resources to deal with the damage. The one-time storm could be the end of your business. 

Being fully prepared to protect your business’s roof means anticipating terrible scenarios and building a deep-bench program to protect your flat or low-slope roof before, during, and immediately after a storm.  

Take these steps in developing your hurricane preparedness plan: 

The track record of Florida’s hurricanes suggests worse, not better, conditions for commercial roofs in the years ahead. Your hurricane preparedness plan needs to go beyond the immediate hours before and after the storm.

Safe Harbor

Hurricane preparedness is a year-round background condition for most commercial property owners and managers. You need: 

  • A roofing maintenance checklist is readily available in multiple locations. Keep a copy in your office, one near the roof access point, and provide your facilities crew with extras.
  • Complete contact information for your local roofer.
  • Off-site safe storage of duplicates of all the essential documents necessary for your company’s survival, including roofing warranties, financial records, inspection reports, insurance papers, and contact information for all third-party vendors. Include payroll information because your employees will rally to your needs if they know their pay will not be interrupted by the hurricane.
  • To inspect the building envelope, from drainage to windows to foundations. Look for cracked windows, leaking weatherstripping, clogged downspouts or French drains, and faulty foundations and ensure they are all repaired as quickly as budgets and time allow.
  • A plan for facilities crews to remove all rooftop accessories in advance of any storm. This includes casual furniture placed on the roof by lounging employees, loose signs, potted plants (if your roof provides a green space), or anything which could become a windborne missile.
  • To stay on top of scheduled roof repairs or building improvements so necessary storm preparations are not delayed. Ensure your roof is in peak condition before hurricane season.
  • Regular inspections by your commercial roofer to make sure flashing is intact and held fast, caulking is in place and still resilient, and mechanical fasteners are secure throughout the roof and roof deck.

This and This and This

A commercial roof is a complex system of complicated parts. Keeping up with all its components can be challenging. Work with your commercial roofer to ensure even the smallest part of your roof is ready for the sustained rains, high winds, and punishing pressure changes hurricanes bring:

  • Keep gutters clear of built-up organic matter. Clean the gutters to check for visible signs of rust or corrosion, and replace any weak parts.
  • Keep internal drains and strainers clear of debris. Inspect strainers for cracks or holes and replace them promptly.
  • Ask your roofer to pay particular attention to all roofing seams during a roof inspection to make sure no seam will tear loose in high winds.
  • Double-check that your roof deck is in compliance with applicable hurricane codes. Have your roofer add roof clips and other hardware as required.
  • Discuss ahead of time the realistic possibility that your commercial roofer cannot repair your roof within hours of the passing hurricane. How will your crew deal with the damage? 
  • Keep your roofer’s contact information handy day and night, no matter where you are.

Contact us today at PSI Roofing in Fort Lauderdale to find out more about preparing your commercial roof for hurricane season. The time and funds you devote to a hurricane preparedness plan could keep you in business after the next big blow.