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Flood Resilience for Commercial Properties: Strategies for Minimizing Issues After Water Damage

Written By BlueTeam  |  March 11, 2024

Despite the meticulous preparation many commercial buildings undergo to brace themselves for disasters, the harsh reality remains: water damage often follows in the wake of floods, storms, and other natural calamities. 

While structural fortifications such as elevated designs and waterproof materials are vital shields against water intrusion, there comes a time when these defenses are put to the test, and restoration becomes the immediate priority. 

In such critical moments, the expertise of professional water damage restoration services becomes invaluable. Companies like BlueTeam offer a lifeline to businesses grappling with the aftermath of water damage. From comprehensive cleanup and repair to meticulous restoration efforts, they specialize in restoring commercial properties to their former glory. 

Let's explore how businesses can navigate the challenges of water damage and emerge stronger with the right restoration approach. We will be focusing on post-flood strategies to minimize the consequential issues.

damaged ceiling in need of water damage restoration

Assessing Flood Risks for Commercial Properties

Geographical Location and Environmental Factors 

The geographical location of a commercial property significantly influences its exposure to flood risks. Properties situated in low-lying areas, coastal regions, or floodplains are more susceptible to flooding, especially during extreme weather events such as hurricanes or heavy rainfall. 

Furthermore, environmental factors such as topography and soil composition influence drainage patterns and water retention capabilities. Properties located in areas with poor drainage or compacted soils may experience heightened flood risks, as water runoff is less effectively absorbed into the ground.  

Historical Flood Data and Risk Assessment 

Analyzing historical flood data provides valuable insights into the frequency, severity, and patterns of past flood events in the vicinity of the commercial property. 

Local authorities and agencies often maintain databases of flood records, including floodplain maps, flood frequency analyses, and inundation modeling data. Reviewing this information allows commercial property owners to assess the likelihood of future flood occurrences and estimate potential flood depths. 

Moreover, conducting a risk assessment involves quantifying the potential consequences of flooding on the commercial property and its occupants. The process includes evaluating the impact on building structures, contents, utilities, and critical infrastructure. 

An assessment of the economic, social, and environmental implications of flood events helps prioritize mitigation efforts and allocate resources in an effective way. 

Building Characteristics and Vulnerabilities 

Finally, the structural integrity and design characteristics of a commercial building can make it more or less resistant to flood hazards. 

Older buildings constructed before modern flood-resistant standards may lack adequate flood protection measures, making them more susceptible to water intrusion. Common vulnerabilities include: 

  • Ground-level entrances 
  • Below-grade utility installations 
  • Inadequate foundation waterproofing 

Immediate Professional Restoration Efforts After Floods

Water damage can wreak havoc on commercial properties, posing significant challenges for business owners and occupants. In the aftermath of a flood or water-related incident, taking prompt and decisive action helps mitigate further damage and facilitate the restoration process. 

Therefore, commercial property owners should partner with restoration professionals who specialize in swift and efficient response measures and follow this process: 

Assessing Safety and Damage 

The priority after floods and water damage occurs is to ensure the safety of occupants and assess the extent of damage to the commercial property: 

  • Evacuation: If water levels pose an immediate threat to safety or if there are signs of structural instability, professionals make sure all occupants have evacuated the premises. 
  • Shutting Off Utilities: The restoration team shuts off electrical, gas, and water utilities to prevent additional risks of electrocution, gas leaks, or water damage. They locate the main shutoff valves or circuit breakers and turn them off using insulated gloves or tools if necessary. 
  • Initially inspecting Structural Integrity: Restoration experts conduct an initial visual inspection of the commercial property to assess any visible signs of structural damage, such as sagging ceilings, cracked walls, or leaning structures. They also make sure to notify occupants about not entering areas that show signs of structural compromise. 
  • Documenting Damage: Many restoration teams also take photographs or videos of the water-damaged areas, including affected structural components, furnishings, and inventory, for insurance claims and restoration purposes. Documenting the extent of damage provides valuable evidence to support insurance claims and ensures thorough assessment during the restoration process. 

Removing Standing Water 

Once safety concerns have been addressed, the next immediate task is to remove standing water from the commercial property to prevent further damage and mold growth. This process can be accomplished through the following steps: 

  • Pumping Out Water: Restoration teams utilize submersible pumps or wet vacuums to extract standing water from flooded areas. Beginning with the lowest areas of the property, they work toward higher ground to facilitate drainage and prevent water from spreading to unaffected areas. 
  • Drying Out Interior Spaces: Professionals increase ventilation and airflow within the commercial property by opening windows, doors, and utilizing fans or dehumidifiers. They remove wet materials such as furniture, upholstery, and draperies to allow for adequate airflow and expedite the drying process. 
  • Addressing Moisture in Hard-to-Reach Areas: Finally, restoration teams inspect hidden or confined spaces, such as wall cavities, crawl spaces, and HVAC systems, for trapped moisture. They use specialized equipment such as moisture meters or thermal imaging cameras to detect moisture levels and identify areas requiring further drying or dehumidification. 

flooded commercial building in need of water damage restoration

Salvaging Valuable Assets and Contents 

Once the immediate threat of water damage has been addressed and standing water has been removed, commercial property owners work with restoration professionals to salvage valuable assets and contents within the property: 

  • Prioritizing Salvageable Items: Owners need to identify and prioritize salvageable items, such as electronic equipment and inventory. Salvage efforts should begin with items that are most susceptible to water damage and those with the highest value or significance.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Contents: Experts thoroughly clean and disinfect salvaged items using appropriate cleaning solutions and disinfectants. They remove mud, debris, and contaminants from surfaces and disinfect with EPA-approved disinfectants to prevent mold growth and minimize health risks.
  • Drying and Dehumidifying Contents: Professionals use fans, dehumidifiers, or specialized drying chambers to expedite the drying process and restore items to their pre-damage condition. 

Restoring Property and Infrastructure 

Once immediate safety concerns have been addressed, standing water has been removed, and salvageable items have been secured, professionals can begin the process of restoring the commercial property and infrastructure: 

  • Conducting Thorough Structural Assessments: Restoration experts engage qualified professionals, such as structural engineers or building inspectors, to assess the structural integrity of the property. They identify and address any structural damage, including foundation cracks, wall instability, or roof leaks, to prevent further damage and ensure safety. 
  • Implementing Structural Repairs: Based on the findings of structural assessments, restoration teams implement necessary repairs and reinforcement measures to restore the integrity of the property. This process may include repairing damaged walls, replacing compromised building materials, or reinforcing structural elements to meet building code requirements. 
  • Addressing Electrical and Mechanical Systems: Restoration experts inspect electrical and mechanical systems, including wiring, HVAC equipment, and plumbing fixtures, for water damage and operational integrity. They replace or repair damaged components, conduct thorough testing, and ensure compliance with safety standards before restoring utilities. 
  • Restoring Interior Finishes: Once structural repairs and utility restoration have been completed, restoration teams focus on restoring interior finishes such as drywall, flooring, and paint. They remove water-damaged materials, repair or replace damaged finishes, and apply mold-resistant coatings to prevent future mold growth. 
  • Treating Mold and Moisture: After restoration efforts are complete, restoration experts address any mold growth and excess moisture that may remain in the property. They conduct thorough inspections to identify areas affected by mold, utilize specialized equipment to remove mold spores, and implement remediation techniques to prevent recurrence and ensure a safe and healthy environment for occupants. 

How to Implement Structural Protection Measures

Enhancing the structural resilience of commercial buildings against flood hazards requires proactive mitigation measures and reinforcement techniques: 

Retrofitting Flood Barriers 

Install permanent flood barriers, such as floodwalls or levees, around the perimeter of the commercial property to mitigate the risk of water infiltration during flood events. 

Additionally, incorporate flood-resistant materials and construction techniques to strengthen barrier integrity and stop structural damage. 

Elevating Entry Points 

Elevate ground-level entrances, loading docks, and utility access points above potential flood levels to prevent water intrusion into the building. 

Implementing raised entry thresholds, flood-resistant doors, and floodproofing measures also ensures the integrity of building envelopes and minimizes interior water damage. 

Reinforcing Foundation Systems 

Strengthen building foundations and substructures through reinforcement techniques such as deep foundation systems, pile installations, and soil stabilization methods. Enhancing foundation resilience improves structural stability and mitigates the risk of settlement or structural failure during flood events. 

Installing Flood Vents 

Incorporate flood vents or flood-resistant openings in foundation walls or crawl spaces to equalize hydrostatic pressure and reduce the risk of structural damage due to buoyancy forces. Properly designed and installed flood vents facilitate water drainage and prevent excessive hydrostatic pressure buildup within enclosed spaces. 

damaged roof in need of water damage restoration

Looking for Professional Water Damage Restoration Services After a Flood?

Are you grappling with the repercussions of water damage or seeking expert restoration services? Don't navigate the challenges alone. Contact BlueTeam for comprehensive restoration, reconstruction, and roofing solutions. 

Our experienced professionals are equipped to handle all aspects of the restoration process, from immediate actions after water damage to structural repairs and mold remediation. Call us today at for more information. 

We are your trusted partner in times of need.