FLORIDA: Storm prep advice for construction contractors

For contractors with ongoing construction projects, the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane is upsetting, because inclement weather not only slows down progress on the projects but also could cause serious damage to the properties under contract.
That’s why, in the construction industry, storm preparation is critical, not only for safety, but also for financial reasons.

Here are a few tips on construction site storm preparation from two experienced contractors in Brevard County: Mike Williams Sr., president of M.H. Williams, and Adam Broadway, president of Certified General Contractors.

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Williams said that he makes sure to do storm preparation on construction sites as early as possible, leaving his workers sufficient time to protect their homes. “If everyone waits until the last minute, you’re going to have issues,” he said.

Minimize any potential water damage. Broadway said that contractors should fill work site ditches, and that they should cover up any building openings that might let water through, including windows and incomplete roofs. He also suggests reworking of drainage systems to ensure that water is directed away from the construction site and does not pool up in that area.

Remove all trash and loose items from the construction site, and protect whatever is vulnerable to wind damage. Both Williams and Broadway said it’s important to remove any debris from the construction site that could become airborne, and to secure building components that might otherwise get blown away. Williams said he stops accepting deliveries at construction sites when storms are looming. “It not only protects the project, but it also protects the people and buildings in the area,” Williams said.

  • Inspect and protect any roofs or ceilings, and delay building either of those two things until after the storm clears. Williams said he’s delayed a ceiling installation, because of Tropical Storm Erika.  
  • Make sure there is more than one person involved in construction site inspections. Williams said he always has at least two people inspecting each of his construction sites prior to a storm to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken.
  • Do not underestimate the potential property damage. Both Broadway and Williams urge all contractors to be vigilant about storm preparation.

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