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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Minimize Storm Damage in your Commercial Space

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Massive flooding, especially in regions like Long Island, NY, bring devastating impact on the livelihood of its residents and economy. Casualties, destructed crops, damaged properties, livestock losses, defective infrastructure and the rise of waterborne diseases are some of the consequences of floods. Commercial properties, involving millions of dollars’ in investment are also prone to flooding. The costs of rehabilitation, shifting of commercial property from damaged areas to new regions, and relocation of displaced people and employees can divert a massive amount of money from these businesses.

Floods on Long Island like Hurricane Sandy, and others across the country like Harvey, Irma, Michael and Maria have resulted in devastating losses, both residential and commercial, monetary and non-monetary. These losses have been noted to have a monetary loss from $15 - $125 billion.

Causes of Flooding in Businesses

To prevent commercial property and business losses, advance preventative measures can be made to determine and prevent water damage.

  1. Rising Water

It is one of the biggest risks to island areas like Long Island.

  1. Moving water

Moving water brings greater risks in areas that are located near rivers or in coastal storm surge areas since it results in much larger lateral forces on the buildings.

  1. Overtopping

Overtopping, opening of levees, dams and other flood stopping mechanisms, which are made to divert flood water flow to ensure protection, result in more significant flood damages than if these mechanisms were never installed.

  1. Flash flooding

Flash flooding occurs in almost every region due to slow-moving storms or unusually heavy rainfall arising out of any storm system.  This is particularly common on Long Island and the main culprit for commercial property damage on Long Island. 

Factors to Determine Property’s Exposure to Floods

  • Flood waters must be able to recede. The most common cause of structure flooding is poor drainage.
  • Flood waters’ depth, if higher than 3 feet, hydrostatic pressure against walls will lead to cracks in foundations. Resulting in horizontal foundation cracks and potential collapse.
  • Increases in water velocity will result in more pressure exerted against the building. Coastal locations are exposed to waves coming from a storm surge.
  • Flood water is usually contaminated, containing a lot of hazardous elements like industrial waste, toxins, pesticides, sewage, animal wastes, oils and chemical and non-chemical materials. This contamination breaches flood protection and brings intensive damage to property.

Ways to Tackle Flood


The best solution to prevent flooding is to ensure that all drainage systems surrounding the parameter of your building have been installed and operating properly. Compromises in your drainage system can cause devastating damage to your commercial property.


Having adequate elevation will prevent against coastal flooding. Safety margin against flooding is enhanced by raising the elevation of the building above 500-year flood elevation. Though, in regions like Long Island, these locations are hard to find.

Dry Floodproofing

Many waterproofing strategies, techniques, systems and materials exist to help seal the building or property’s foundation to prevent water from entering. Protecting the foundation by coating its exterior with a subterranean membrane that prevents flooding waters from entering the structure. This is not a quick fix and can be a complicated process that requires professional expertise.

To know more about the best solutions for minimizing flood damages to your commercial property, call the experts at SERVPRO of East Meadow/Westbury for specialized flood management and emergency restoration services on Long Island at: 516-334-2927

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