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Heavy Rain Protection for Utica Area Businesses

November 19, 2019

rain protection businessHeavy rainfalls here in the Mohawk Valley have become more frequent the last few years. The 2019 Halloween rain storm in the Utica area was no different. It devastated homes and businesses.

So for Utica area business owners, we wanted to offer advice on how you can protect your buildings from the next rainstorm. We went to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (Disaster Safety.Org) to find out more.

The tips listed below are directly from the web page on rain protection. (We highly recommend you visit this website for info on all kinds of ways to prevent damage to your property. It includes info on ice, snow, hurricanes, fire and more.)

Protect Your Business from Heavy Rain

  1. Inspect and clean the roof drainage system. It’s recommended that this be done in the spring and fall, so now is the time to take a look at your gutters, interior drains, and scuppers (openings in the sides of a building to drain off rain water).
  2. Trim trees away from the roof. This helps prevent branches from rubbing up against the roof and leaves from clogging the drainage system.
  3. Remove from the roof loose objects and debris that could get into the drainage system. Also check under and around roof-mounted equipment, satellite dishes, and antennas for debris that could disrupt the drainage system’s water flow or cause ponding.
  4. If your business has a steep-sloped roof with asphalt shingles or low-sloped roof with modified bitumen or built-up roofs, remove the granules and pea gravel from gutters. These often accumulate and impede the flow of water down to the drain.
  5. Check roof drains for cracks and repair them where necessary.
  6. Re-check drainage systems after a storm. Make sure there are no leaks and they are secure and working properly.
  7. Check for standing water on the roof. If there are no blockages causing the standing water, make sure the gutter is sloped correctly to the downspout.
  8. If you have a low-sloped roof, make sure the slope of the roof cover system and insulation boards divert water to internal drains. Or to the edge of the roof. Long standing water may mean an improper slope.
  9. Make sure all roof-mounted air conditioning drain lines funnel water to a drain.
  10. Check downspouts to be sure they funnel water away from the building. You don’t want water accumulating near the building’s walls.
  11. If you’re thinking of replacing your gutters, look into large sized gutters for greater flow.
  12. Do you have wall air conditioners installed? If so, make sure the internal drain pipe is adequate and water flows freely. Ensure proper caulking and weather stripping around the unit. Have the unit installed with a ¼ inch bubble tilt toward outside.

You’re probably wondering about insurance coverage for water damage. Most commercial property insurance does cover interior damage caused by water. (But not flood water. More on that next week.)

However, business insurance won’t cover faulty gutters or drainage systems. Not unless they were damaged by a covered loss. And if there is coverage for interior damage, getting estimates and hiring contractors to fix the damage is always time consuming and cumbersome.

The upshot is that Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is here when you need us, but taking care of problems after reviewing the tips above is your best bet. Next week we’ll talk about protecting your business from the devastation of flooding.

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here. In Westchester County call Zak Scalzo at 914.246.0315 or email at zaks@szwinsurance.com.