The likelihood of commercial property owners having to repair damage caused by floods, through on-site repair and replacement, paint spraying and restoration of the building, is growing all the time due to the increase in global warming.
This is according to Legal Futures’ Associates, responding to Thames Water Property Searches recently. They believe that businesses need to prepare themselves better for the risk of floods, as they are likely to encounter more of them in future years.
“While flooding is nothing new, the governmental advice and scientific consensus is that our flood risk has and will continue to increase as global warming takes hold,” they wrote, adding: “Hence, we must prepare in earnest.”
They noted that many companies these days have commercial insurance with flood cover, thanks to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association launching a new product to protect small and medium-sized enterprises.
Despite this, just the risk of a flood can have a detrimental impact on a commercial property’s finances, as businesses are likely to prefer other units that are not in a flood risk zone and lenders might not offer loans to these buildings.
Even if the premises can be repaired following a flood, it is essential to mitigate these risks before they occur.
“The key to protecting against the risk of possible diminishing values on a commercial property is to undertake robust due diligence from the outset,” the Legal Futures’ Associates wrote.
They said “effective planning is essential” to do this. This includes securing the appropriate insurance cover; getting the right commercial lease arrangement so it is clear who is responsible if damage occurs as a result of a flood; and establishing a flood plan between landlords and tenants.
According to Know Your Flood Risk, this plan could include fitting permeable surfacing to access routes and car parking areas; installing flood-resistant doors to staff entrances; having sump and pumps in kitchen areas and Goods Out zones; and making sure there are sustainable urban drainage measures in the grounds.
It is also a good idea to have flood barriers against the main entrance, making sure furniture in the reception can be easily removed, and keeping critical business equipment on the higher floors in case water does enter the building.
By preparing in advance for flooding, the Environment Agency claims businesses can save up to 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock and moveable equipment.
While many companies may think severe flooding is unlikely to happen, they might be shocked to find out more than 300,000 business premises across Britain are currently at risk of flooding. Indeed, flooding is the event that is most likely to damage and disrupt commercial properties in the country.
The winter of 2015/16 was particularly bad, with December 2015 being the wettest month in more than 100 years. As a result, 4,600 commercial properties were flooded, taking the total claims made by businesses to more than £100 million.
If you’d like to find out more about the variety of services we have on offer such as on site paint spraying, get in touch with the team today.