June marks the beginning of the annual Atlantic and Gulf Coast hurricane season and May hosts the National Hurricane Preparedness Week. We both those things in mind, it is a good time to consider how you can prepare your commercial landscaping for hurricane season in the Greater Houston area. The great freeze event of 2021 means that it is more important than ever to evaluate potential problem spots on your commercial property before the threat of high winds or significant rain is here. The hard freeze has left many trees and palms dead or in a very weakened declining state. These trees will be more prone to being toppled by high winds or floods should we get a tropical event this season. Although we cannot completely prevent hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall from impacting our businesses and commercial properties, there are some proactive steps business owners and property managers can take to minimize damage and protect their commercial property.
PROACTIVE TREE TRIMMING
Taking a proactive and strategic approach to tree pruning not only improves the tree’s health, but also decreases the chances of broken or damaged branches falling down during a storm. These branches can cause property damage or personal injury. Overgrown tree branches pose a risk to the property as a whole, and can also lead to power outages if they are in close proximity to utility poles. Also, tree trimming can reveal hidden issues with trees, such as hidden breaks, diseases or insect infestations, that can be corrected before hurricane-force winds further damage the tree.
ADD PROPER DRAINAGE SYSTEMS
A properly installed drainage system redirects the flow of heavy rainfall and floodwaters so they do not threaten business structures, vehicles, and other areas of the commercial property. Without adequate drainage in the commercial landscape, water can quickly accumulate and cause widespread commercial property flooding and costly damages. Drainage systems can also reduce soil erosion, which can further damage the health of the commercial landscaping such as grass, trees, and plants.
EVALUATE AND SECURE EXERIOR ELEMENTS
A number of commercial properties offer outdoor amenities for visitors, customers, and employees to enjoy, such as tables and chairs for dining, large patio umbrellas, and bench seating. However, these exterior amenities can become dangerous and even deadly hazards during a strong hurricane or windstorm if they are not properly secured. These should either be secured with heavy reinforcements, or brought inside to prevent further property damage during a hurricane.
COMMERCIAL INSURANCE COVERAGE REVIEW
It is important for any commercial property owner near the Gulf Coast to secure quality commercial insurance coverage to protect against losses to commercial landscaping including large, valuable trees as well as business assets, fleet vehicles, and outdoor signage. Many businesses discover too late that they lack the proper commercial insurance coverage to offset losses or help cover repairs, renovations, and asset replacement due to hurricane-related damages. Without proper commercial insurance in place, losses caused by windstorms, power outages, or flooding can cause thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket damages.
Hurricane damage can never be completely avoided, but proactive hurricane preparedness planning by commercial property owners can help minimize damages and protect long-term property health. LMC is committed to helping commercial property owners protect their business property and commercial landscaping before a storm strikes. Contact LMC today for more information, or go online to request a free consultation about Tree Pruning, Tree Removal, Cabling and Bracing, Drainage Services, or Emergency Tree Services.