The Houston area continues the recovery process following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, with scores of business owners busy gutting structures, recovering assets, and making plans for repairs. However, many commercial property owners don't realize that floodwaters impact more than just buildings and structures. Flooding can significantly damage commercial land, but owners might not realize there are issues until much later, increasing the time and cost for repairs. In today's LMC blog post, we'll highlight four areas to have inspected on your commercial property after a hurricane so owners can ensure that their property is healthy and stable for years to come.
Tree and Plant Health
One of the first areas impacted by a hurricane and its accompanying floodwaters are plants and trees on the property. Hurricane force winds can topple healthy trees, plants, and shrubs, which can turn them into dangerous debris. Even if trees aren't toppled, they can be damaged by strong winds, leaving behind dangling branches and limbs that can fall onto people or property and cause additional injuries or damages. Flooding complicates the issue even more, since any plant life that is submerged under contaminated water will not likely survive. Property owners need to have all trees, plants, shrubs, and lawns inspected so any damaged areas can be pruned away.
The pictures and videos that show Hurricane Harvey's aftermath all include the same thing – brown and contaminated floodwaters that seeped into homes, businesses, and properties across the greater Houston area. Although floodwater has receded across most of the city, it leaves behind all the sediment, contaminants, sewage, and chemicals carried in by the water. These contaminants can harm soil health and jeopardize plant life for weeks, months, and even years after floodwaters have receded. Soil health should be analyzed to determine both the level of contamination that has occurred, and whether the soil needs to be removed and replaced with healthy soil.
Watering a commercial property might be the last thing on the mind of business owners after all the rain our region experienced with Hurricane Harvey, but the reality is that our properties will still need to be regularly watered throughout the year. Unfortunately, hurricanes and floodwaters can damage irrigation systems, so these will also need to be inspected to ensure all valves, sprinkler heads, zones, pipes, and control panels are functioning properly.
Finally, a number of commercial sites across the Houston area discovered too late their need for proper drainage services, or they learned that their drainage system failed because of blockages. Professional drainage services allow rainwater to runoff from the property into storm drains, retention areas, or detention ponds without jeopardizing nearby buildings or property.