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Flood Protection for Commercial Real Estate


Like any other property, commercial buildings are at risk of damage from catastrophic weather events that can produce flooding. Depending on your location and the season, losses caused by hurricanes and tornadoes are possibilities. But seasonal storms with their heavy winds, rain, and lightning strikes can also bring flooding concerns. 

Few areas in the United States don’t have a risk of floods, but South Carolina’s risk is greater than some. National Geographic reports that floods are responsible for about 140 deaths and $6 billion in damage each year. If you’re in a location where there’s weather – so everywhere – knowing about your property’s flood risk and how to mitigate it with flood protection is vital. 

Severe Floods Can Devastate Your Business

When a flood event occurs, the focus is often on the residents who are displaced from their homes and keeping people out of harm’s way. And rightfully so. But many businesses suffer incredible hardships after floods, and some never recover. 

In addition to dealing with property damage, businesses must also account for lost revenue and inventory as well as the possibility of displacing valuable employees. Since a single flood can cause so much havoc, it makes sense to give flood protection some thought. 

Flood Protection Tips for Commercial Real Estate

On average, South Carolina can receive up to 80 inches of precipitation annually. And the average rainfall in Charleston is about 48 inches per year, which is 10 inches above the national average. While you can’t stop the rain from falling on your commercial property, you can be proactive about flood protection with these efforts:

Assess Your Property

Inspect your property for any areas that might cause issues during a flood. Basements are rare in South Carolina, but any property that has underground areas should get some special attention.

Buy Flood Insurance

Commercial property insurance won’t typically cover damage from floods. After you’ve evaluated your risk, consider purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program

Add Flood-Proofing

If you are in or near a flood plain, or your building is in an area that has flooded in the past, consider adding some flood-proofing measures to your property. These might include adding a waterproof coating to some exterior walls, using flood-proof doors, or installing flood panels to repel water away from your building. 

Improve Landscaping

If you are getting ready to build your commercial property, consider locating it on higher ground. For both new and existing properties, make sure that your landscaping is designed so that water flows away from your building instead of towards it. 

Keep Property Maintained

Keep the exterior of your commercial property well-maintained. For flood control purposes, this means periodic clearing of downspouts and gutters, as well as the removal of any debris around the property that could clog drains. Carolina Services Inc. (CSI) specializes in helping business owners, managers, and investors with commercial construction, space planning, maintenance, and tenant up-fit services throughout the Charleston, SC area. Contact us to learn more about our services.