We have seen some pretty violent weather across the Midwest, from straight-line winds to large hail storms. Unfortunately, some of these extreme weather conditions often leave extensive damage to the exterior and interior of your building. After any strong storm, you may want to immediately check your property for damage that may have occurred. Never neglect any damage you find. Leaving your building in poor condition may cause further harm to your building’s exterior and/or interior structures, and unattended damage will be more expensive to fix in the long-term. Mitigate unnecessary repair expenses by thoroughly inspecting your building and catching the problem right away.
Note: You should never leave shelter during severe weather to inspect your building.
Types of Storm Damage
- Thunderstorms – Thunderstorms can produce strong straight-line winds, sometimes over 100mph, along with hail, lightening, flooding, etc. When the National Weather Service announces a warning for your area, make sure tenants are prepared to take shelter and to report any damage that may occur. For more information on how to prepare your tenants for severe weather, click here.
- Hail – Hail storms are the most common cause of storm damage. Numerous businesses and homes have reported extensive hail damage to their building’s exterior, including roof damage, shingle damage, and window damage. Hail damage may not always be visible at first glance. Make sure you inspect your building carefully.
- Tornado – Tornados have been known to cause the most expensive damage in the Midwest. They can produce winds up to 300mph. In the event of a Tornado, your building may experience direct damage from extreme winds or flying debris. Make sure your residents take shelter and remain indoors. Be prepared to inspect your building for severe damage.
- Flooding – Heavy rainfall or flash floods can easily cause extensive water damage to your building. Often times flood damage can be prevented by properly diverting the flow of rainwater away from your building’s foundation. If you experience any flooding in your building or water damage, you need to act quickly.
- Heavy Snow – Heavy snowstorms in combination with freezing temperatures and high winds can cause severe damage to your building, including frozen pipe bursts and roof collapse. Make sure to inspect your building carefully after a strong blizzard or snow storm.
What You Can Do
1. Immediately inspect your building after any storm. Instruct your tenants to report any structural or water damage to management right away. Next, assess the situation. Do you have a roof leak? Place a bucket underneath the dripping water to prevent it from further damaging any carpet or tile. Do you have a broken window? Clean up the glass and instruct tenants to stay away from the window until it can be repaired.
2. Create an emergency response task list, which outlines specific responses to common weather-related damage scenarios. Have your property manager follow the steps on this list.
3. Create an approved list of emergency vendors. You or your property manager will easily be able refer to this list in the event of an emergency. Choose reputable vendors, who have a history of being reliable.
4. Work with your approved vendors to report any damage to your insurance company.
5. Consider making preventative improvements to your building. For example, replace your old gutters and downspouts. Efficiently diverting rainfall away from your building’s foundation will help prevent floods from occurring.