Loss prevention is a major topic of conversation amongst business leaders. While much of the discussion revolves around cyber security and other nefarious attacks, in reality loss prevention should be looked at more holistically. And one aspect many business owners in Chicago overlook is prevent a flooded basement at their store front. Flooded basements in our area are such a problem the city has created a partnership to try and educate home and business owners about the problem and how to stop it.
Ways to stop my business’ basement from flooding
We asked Patrick from RestorationEze, a Chicago water damage restoration service company, about Chicago’s flooding problem to get some feedback on what our readers can do to not become a statistic. “Any time you’re talking about flood loss prevention, you have to first weigh the risks of a basement flood and the costs to your business such a disruption would cause. For some, there wouldn’t be a huge disruption to their business. For others, the downtime and loss of inventory could destroy their business,” Patrick says. “So depending on where you fall on the spectrum will dictate what makes sense for your business in terms of preventing a loss.”
Common waterproofing techniques
Many common waterproofing techniques that apply to residences also apply to businesses. Some are considerably more expensive, so as Patrick suggests above, weigh the odds versus the potential impact on your business.
Before we discuss further, here is a great video that helps you conceptualize the various techniques taken to stop water from getting into basements.
If you own a warehouse out in the suburbs and you house expensive materials or product inventory in the basement of the warehouse, one option you may consider is having exterior drainage installed around the building (or at least around any signs that are prone to water pooling during rains). As the name implies, the goal here is to get the water away from your building and allow it drain into a safe place where it’s not at risk of getting into your building’s basement. There are a variety of exterior drainage solutions so it’s important you have a licensed waterproofing company come out and assess your building to determine which option makes the most sense for your business.
In some cases, your basement water damage may be due to hydrostatic pressure causing water to rise up through the basement floor and flooding the area. In these instances, an interior drain system might make more sense. Again, consult with a waterproofer before deciding what option makes sense here!
With this method, water isn’t diverted away from the building but rather a membrane is applied to the exterior wall of the basement that stops water from permeating the foundation and eventually causing a flooded basement. Retroactively doing this can cost a bundle because all of the earth around your building’s foundation will need to be removed so that a water-stopping membrane can be applied.
Again, this method does that exact same thing as the method above, but only once the water has begun seeping into the basement walls. This can be one of the more inexpensive routes to take, so if it’s the case some basement water isn’t going to shutter your business or be really expensive, this may be the best route to take.
Which route makes sense for my business?
There are way too many options and way too many scenarios at play to be able to know what route makes the most sense. Your best option is to meet with a basement waterproofer and talk through each option. Obviously budget will be a deciding factor for your business, but so too will the risk of this type of water damage occurring. Know your options, weigh your risks, and spend your hard earned money wisely!