Commercial property owners need to take care to ensure that their investment is protected from hazards, including extreme weather. Flooding has the potential to have a significant impact on a business. Not only can the water cause damage to the foundation and structure of the building, but it can also interrupt the firm’s day-to-day operations, leading to lower productivity and reduced cash flow – neither of which are good for the company’s bottom line.
The following tips will help commercial real estate owners keep their property safe and reduce the likelihood of damage from extreme weather:
1. Review your existing insurance cover to make sure that it includes water and flood damage. You will also want to make sure that the level of cover is adequate to meet your needs. Ideally, you will want to look at your policy documents at least once every 12 months so that you can make changes to your cover as required.
2. Conduct an inspection of your premises to look for cracks and other areas where water may enter the premises.
3. Check your window fittings to ensure that they are watertight. Fitting insulating plastic around windows will help to keep water from entering the building.
4. Ensure that external fuse boxes have protective coverings to keep them dry and protected from the elements. Perform (or have an expert perform) an inspection regularly to ensure that the fuse box has not been damaged.
5. If your commercial property is located in an area which is at high risk from flooding, consider using water resistant skirting boards and choose synthetic internal doors (or make sure wooden ones are easy to remove if a flood warning occurs). Choose tile flooring over fitted carpets, since the latter will often need to be removed and replaced after a flood occurs.
While commercial property owners may grumble about the amount they pay for their insurance cover, this is money well spent if a loss occurs. Keeping the property in good repair and anticipating the type of damage which extreme weather can cause will help to lower the amount of potential damage a flood can cause. Having the right level insurance cover in place is also part of a good overall financial plan, and it is one which should be reviewed regularly – not just when a loss occurs.