If you own a commercial business in a hurricane-prone area, then it’s important that you know what steps you should be taking to protect your business’ roof in the event of the worst. In hurricanes, roofs are especially prone to damage, which is why they should receive the most attention while you’re preparing your business’ roof for an impending storm.
To help you with hurricane preparations for your commercial roof, we’ve assembled to following list of tips. Hopefully, you’ll find them more than useful when it comes time to batten down the hatches.
Even the most minor hurricane can do significant damage to your commercial roof. To ease the process of making an insurance claim after the storm, make photographic evidence of the condition of your business’ roof before the storm arrives. When it comes time to make your claim, you won’t be subject to any insurance company chicanery.
Clean up any Debris
While it’s important that you make sure your commercial roof is regularly cleaned, it’s especially important before the arrival of a hurricane. Loose objects on your roof can clog up storm drains, and they can be carried by the wind and thrown into other buildings and objects, causing further damage. Ensuring that your roof is free of any loose objects will go a long way toward ensuring this doesn’t happen.
Clear out the Drains
Hurricanes aren’t all about wind, they’re about rain too – and lots of it. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that your commercial roof’s drainage system is working properly and is unobstructed. If your roof is not able to drain itself properly, then water could pool up, which might cause water to leak into the building itself. Even worse, if a significant amount of water is allowed to pool up, it might cause the roof to collapse.
Check the Flashings
Over time, flashings have been known to come loose, and you don’t want them to get caught up by the wind of a hurricane if they have. So make sure that you go over them to ensure that they’re properly affixed to the roof. If they’re not, then take whatever steps necessary to secure them.
Secure any Equipment that’s on the Roof
No doubt you have A/C units, exhaust vents and other such pieces of equipment on your businesses roof. Just like anything else, these items can be blown away by the tremendous winds of a hurricane. So, take the time to carefully inspect each one of these items, ensuring that they’re properly secured to the roof. If they’re not, then take whatever steps necessary to make that happen.
Protect any Skylights
If you’re commercial roofing system includes skylights, then these will need to be secured just as any windows you might have will need to be. You’ll want to remove the skylight lenses and cover them with plywood that’s at least three-quarters of an inch thick. When you do so, make sure that plywood is securely fastened, as you wouldn’t want it to go flying away with the wind.
Arrange for a Roof Inspection Ahead of Time
Before the hurricane hits, reach out to a roofing contractor that you trust and schedule a post-storm inspection. You and everyone else will be requiring such service, so it’s advisable that you get out in front of it. In the end, making this decision could save your business valuable days of operation in the event that your roof needs significant repairs or needs to be replaced. Being one of the first in line has its benefits, right?