Almost forty percent of the small businesses in the United States never reopen after suffering a major natural disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Businesses can suffer the effects of hurricane damage for as long as two to three years after a storm has happened. While we do not have control over the occurrence of a natural disaster, being aware and prepared for a hurricane mitigates the risk of extensive damage to your property and can save you thousands of dollars.
Your commercial plumbing is an important aspect to consider and here in this article we provide you with some valuable tips on how to prepare your plumbing for the hurricane season. We all want to ensure that our property is well-secured. The best way to do this is by doing what we like to call a walk-through. A simple walk-through will help you to check whether your property is secured and if you’re prepared for the storm. Making a list of what needs to be checked is a good way to ensure that all grounds are covered during the walk-through and that everything is fit for the season.
- Inspect your drains and gutters
- The storm is likely to bring heavy rain falls. You want to ensure that your drains and gutters are free from debris and dirt if it is raining heavily. Clogged or cluttered gutters make it difficult to handle the overload from heavy downpours and can cause extensive water damage to your foundation.
- You want to ensure that all roof-mounted equipment such as HVAC units and exhaust vents are anchored well to prevent them from being destroyed by heavy winds.
- Turn your HVAC system off. Be sure to disconnect the equipment from the power source. If possible, shut off the circuit breakers that control the HVAC equipment. This reduces the chances of an electrical surge that could damage or destroy your HVAC system.
- Cover the outdoor unit with a sturdy covering. If you find it’s necessary, board up the unit just to be safe. This will help to keep out rain, mud, sticks and other debris that could get stuck inside the system.
- Turn off the water heater during this time so as to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your business plumbing system.
- You want to ensure that your water valve is turned off to prevent your water supply from becoming contaminated from external sources.
- For restaurants and other food places, try to have your grease traps pumped down before the storm hits. In the event that power is not restored right afterwards, built-up grease will harden, making it difficult to clean.
- Have backflow valves installed in your plumbing’s sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains.
Preparing for a hurricane disaster is a necessary process. Safety and sustainability are the key considerations to keep in mind here. Ultimately, the goal is to incur the least amount of damage during and after a storm. By offering these commercial plumbing tips, our team here at Flamingo Plumbing and Backflow Services hopes that you will be better prepared for hurricane season!