Emergency board up services are critical to any commercial property, especially after a natural disaster or event. But, how exactly can establishments benefit from these services? And are they really worth the money?
What Are Emergency Board Up Services?
A board up service is the act of protecting a commercial or residential property by covering up any vulnerable entrances with plywood. This process prevents further damage (from disaster) and secures the property from unwanted visitors (trespassers). Apart from covering entrances with plywood, board up services also typically involve protecting sidings and roofs with tarps.
Emergency vs Preventive Board Up Services
There are two kinds of board up services every commercial property owner should know about: Preventive and Emergency.
A preventive board up service is performed before the occurrence of natural disasters like thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes. As you may know, the damages brought on by these disasters can be severe.
The force of winds and rain can significantly devastate your property. Natural disasters are also expensive, costing about $95 billion in damages in 2020 alone.
With preventive board up services, though, you can minimize the damages and save money on costly repairs. After the disaster passes, it is easy to remove the plywood and return to business as usual.
On the other hand, an emergency board up service is typically done after the fact. Some disasters arrive unannounced, leaving you no time to spare. This is usually the case for structure fires. Although your property will inevitably suffer damage from the disaster, emergency board up services can protect it from further damage.
The Importance of Emergency Board Up Services
Emergencies come and go unexpectedly, giving you no time at all to make preparations. When disaster strikes, they strike swiftly and mercilessly. The doors and windows of your commercial property will certainly take damage. Try as you may, replacing these entrances will take time, leaving the property open to instances of theft, vandalism, and further damage.
With emergency board up services, though, you can have any vulnerable entryways covered with plywood. While it is only a temporary solution, it is a fast and effective one. Boarding up your property will undoubtedly protect it from criminal activity and damages caused by aftershocks. Ultimately, this will help save you money and make it easier for your business to get back on its feet.
Other than that, emergency board up services will help you with your insurance payout. After a natural disaster, you must wait for an insurance adjuster to inspect the damages and verify your claim. Therefore, you must do what you can to safeguard your property and its condition in the interim. Preventing further damage will increase your chances of getting your claim approved and receiving a payout.
Who Needs Emergency Board-Up Services?
All kinds of properties require emergency board up services. Basically, any property with windows, doors, and roofs will benefit from board up services, whether preventive or emergency. These services are even more essential right before and immediately following a natural disaster.
But, vacant or abandoned properties also need board up services. Vacant properties usually come with broken windows or doors in disrepair, leaving them unguarded and open to trespassers. Delinquents might enter these properties and vandalize the interiors or use them as a hideout for other criminal acts. Boarding up vacant properties, though, easily prevents such things from happening.
How Does the Process Work?
Board up services use plywood as the main material to cover up windows and doors. The process usually begins by taking measurements of the entryways (windows, doors, etc.). Then, cut up a piece of plywood according to the measurements, leaving an allowance of 4 to 8 inches per side. After that, it is time to affix the plywood to the wall studs with the help of corrosion-resistant screws.
Attaching plywood directly to concrete, stone, or brick walls, though, will not be possible. In this case, the process will require drilling a hole on the wall and then attaching a wall plug to keep the screw in place.
The quality of plywood plays an important role in preventing damage. As such, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the best plywood to use for board up services is exterior-grade CDX plywood that is at least 5/8 inches thick. This is because this type of plywood is thicker and more durable. Plus, this type of plywood is not that hard to find and is also cheaper.
The Cost of Emergency Board Up Services
Emergency board up services can vary in price. Several factors can affect the cost of these services, including where your commercial property is located and how much damage has already been done.
It also depends on how many doors and windows need boarding up. Labor costs can also contribute to the price.
But, on average, you should expect to pay between $200 to $1,500 for emergency board up services. Keep in mind that this type of board up service is more expensive than the preventive kind. Some insurance policies cover the cost of board up services, so make sure to check with your provider first.
Because of the cost, you may feel tempted to board up your property yourself. But, with the cost of materials, time, and potential damage as a result of inexperience, you are definitely better off hiring a professional to perform this service for you.
Why Professionals Are Necessary
Emergency board up services are difficult to perform, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. You might use the wrong type of plywood and indirectly cause more damage to your property. Plus, since you have little to no experience with this kind of thing, a DIY approach is also more time-consuming.
Professionals already know what to do when you call them for help. They come with all the right tools and materials and get the job done in an efficient manner. Due to their expertise and years of experience, you also don’t have to worry about them causing damage to your property. Even if they do, professionals are usually fully insured and bonded.
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