Understanding Commercial Real Estate Flood Control Options Before Investing

An aerial view of a house in a grassy field that incorporates flood control measures.

Investing in real estate is one of the biggest financial decisions a person makes over the course of their life. When making this type of commitment, all aspects of the investment should be considered and well-thought-out. This involves thinking about aspects of a property and the potential hidden costs associated with it. 

When buying real estate, you should account for any unfortunate events that might arise. This includes any type of damage to the property, which can differ based on elevation, location, and the infrastructure of the property. One potential cost to consider before investing is flood control options. 

If you are considering purchasing real estate in an area that frequently experiences flooding, or if you already have done so, you should make sure you are equipped to manage a crisis related to water damage. This can involve preventative, protective strategies, as well as flood management practices after a severe weather event. Before deciding on a type of flood control for your property, it’s important to consider all possible options and decide which is best for you.

Consider your need for flood insurance

If your commercial property is located in a high-risk area, one of the most important things you can do is invest in commercial flood insurance. This typically helps cover the costs of the contents inside the property in case of a flood. When considering purchasing this type of insurance, you should evaluate the flood risk for your commercial property

You should consider the risk level of your area, the position of your building within that area, and the floor your business is on. All of these will contribute to your decision regarding whether or not you should invest in flood insurance. With climate change worsening, severe weather events have as well, so you might consider how worsening weather will impact your decision to invest.  

Understand the benefits of sheet piles

One incredible source of flood protection is known as sheet piles. The construction of sheet pile walls is a modern, affordable solution to prevent flooding on properties. In addition to being an environmentally friendly option, these walls are also efficient at preventing seepage into a property.

The benefits of sheet pile installation are numerous. They can prevent tides and stabilize flood dike structures. They are incredibly sturdy and offer long-term, relatively inexpensive protection. Investing in these structures are a long-term investment in your commercial real estate property.

Assess your need for building maintenance

There are a few steps you can take on your own to manage the risk of your commercial property experiencing flooding. For example, you should clean the gutters of any debris, removing any materials clogging them. You should also repair the roof in any way it needs, patching up holes and fill in any cracks. This will all prevent leakage during a potential weather event.

Related links: commerical roofing in Cincinnati

Devise an emergency plan

Even with the use of many preventative strategies, severe weather and natural disasters can be difficult to anticipate. Because of this, your business should write up a plan in the case of severe flooding. Having a predetermined plan for how to manage a flooding crisis will relieve the stress of decision-making at the time of a severe flood. 

Your emergency plan should include instructions for evacuation, a plan for the retrieval and storage of important documents, and other emergency procedures. You should make your plans as thorough as possible, as it is impossible to predict which aspects of the plan will be necessary in an emergency event. You should also have a plan in mind for water damage restoration and the cleanup of your property.

If applicable, waterproof your basement

If your commercial property contains a basement, it is incredibly important to make sure water is not able to flood in it. You might need to reinstall draining systems, repair any existing leaks, or fill in any cracks in the basement walls. You should also be sure to look outside the basement for issues that may need to be addressed as well. Depending on the state of the basement, you might need to excavate soil outside to seal the exterior walls to prevent flooding inside.

Advocate for flood-preventative construction if possible

If you are purchasing real estate in the construction process, you will have the ability to advocate for structural elements that are most suited to preventing flood damage. Precautionary measures include elevating the building if you are near a coast or installing hurricane-glass windows if your property is located in a hurricane-prone area. You should conduct research to determine what preventative features you would like done to the property.

Hire a professional to suggest improvements

It might be overwhelming to take on a task as large and consequential as assessing the flood risk and implementing flood management strategies to your property. The task requires quite a bit of research, time, and energy. Because of this, it might be worthwhile to hire a professional.

A professional inspector will be able to determine in what ways your property might be vulnerable to flooding. In addition to identifying shortcomings, they can also suggest improvements, as well as refer you to people who might be able to facilitate those improvements. This will help make sure that the installations and maintenance work you are seeking is necessary for your property specifically. It will also ensure that you do not miss any substantial risks or areas that need improvement when inspecting your property on your own.


Planning for flood emergencies and taking steps to prevent them is a high-stakes, potentially stressful task. However, doing so will make you better prepared for severe weather, and will improve the safety of your commercial real estate property. As you plan for flood management and flood prevention, it is extremely important to consider all the options available to you, and to weigh them in the context of the particular risks posed to your property. This will ensure that each measure you are taking is intentional and serves a unique purpose to prevent and manage floods to the building.

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