Your commercial property’s HVAC system is kind of like your car’s engine: out of sight, out of mind. People only start to think about theirs when they notice a problem. For your car, you’ll typically figure out something’s wrong when the “check engine” light starts flashing, but your HVAC doesn’t have any direct method for alerting you to an issue. Instead, you need to be vigilant and keep an eye out for these warning signs:

1. Higher-Than-Normal Electric Bills

While your commercial property’s electricity bill can fluctuate month to month based on the temperature outside and other factors, if your electricity usage skyrockets suddenly, this can be a sign there’s a problem with your HVAC system. Track your monthly usage and bills to keep an eye on your HVAC system’s health.

And if you notice a sudden uptick in your electricity usage month over month, schedule a deep cleaning for your HVAC and air ducts to ensure they’re working as efficiently as possible.

2. Burning Smell in Your Commercial Property

If you or your...


As temperatures rise, the atmosphere becomes capable of holding more and more moisture, which essentially means that the hotter it is, the more humid it can become. And while humidity is mostly known for making people sweat, it can also have significant impacts on your commercial property.

If your building reaches a certain relative humidity—about 70%—your walls, flooring, ceiling and contents may begin to absorb some of the moisture, putting these materials at risk for mold. In fact, it only takes about 24 hours for a wet item to begin seeing microbial growth.

As a business, it’s essential to take the steps to prevent mold from growing within your property. If left unchecked, mold can cause significant structural damage, as well as physical symptoms for your employees and customers, such as respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

What Conditions Are Ideal for Mold Growth in a Building?

Mold thrives in dark, humid and warm environments. In general, if the relative humidity inside your commercial building is around 70%, you’re creating...


When a hurricane approaches, people often look for last-minute hacks to protect their property, but with anyone able to contribute their advice on the internet, the information you may find isn’t always accurate.

As a leading restoration company, the Cotton GDS team is here to dispel common rumors and help you find the truth to better prepare your business for a storm.

Myth: You Should Tape Your Windows Before a Hurricane.

Many claim that taping a window in an “X” pattern will reduce its risk of shattering during a storm. In reality, taping your windows can lead to larger shards of glass if your windows break, which are often more dangerous than smaller pieces. Instead, move as much of your belongings as you can away from windows and consider partnering with a disaster recovery firm, like Cotton GDS, for emergency board-up services before a hurricane.

Myth: Leaving Your Windows Open a Crack Will Prevent Damage.

In theory, the idea of leaving your...


The researchers at NOAA and the Climate Prediction Center recently shared their estimates for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season to be near-normal in activity, and here’s what they’re saying we should expect:

  • 12-17 named storms
  • 5-9 hurricanes

  • 1-4 major hurricanes

These predictions are similar to the number of tropical storms and hurricanes that occurred in 2022, and they match up with the 30-year average pretty well. With all this in mind, it’s time to start preparing for the season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30.

Prepping for the 2023 Hurricane Season

Whether you’re preparing your home and family or your business for the upcoming season, it’s essential to make sure everything is ready to go long before a hurricane approaches your community.

First, start stocking up on necessary supplies, and pack go-bags with everything you might need. Check out our...

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For many, the coming of spring signifies the beginning of most major construction projects for the year. As temperatures warm and new year plans are finalized, many use the new season as an opportunity to kick off their construction plans. While the advantages of spring commercial construction services are numerous, it's important to remember the new safety risks that come with the changing seasons.

With rising spring temperatures also comes unpredictable weather and potentially unsafe working conditions. From snow melt after the winter to frequent spring rains and other seasonal hazards, it's essential to be mindful of the best practices to keep your crews safe on the job. Consider the following essential safety tips for spring construction projects developed by Cotton Construction to help keep your job sites safe this season.

Monitor the weather forecast

As much as we may like to plan ahead, spring storms can often pop up unexpectedly or suddenly...

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In general, storms and inclement weather tend to stick to specific schedules throughout the year. While there’s always the potential for outlying storms, people in the Southeast United States can often expect hurricanes in the summer and fall, freezes during the winter and severe thunderstorms in the spring.

The good news about these weather patterns is that you can prepare your commercial property to withstand the unique dangers of each type of storm before they happen. And as we enter spring, it’s essential for you to take steps to protect your roof from hail, rain and high winds.

What Are the Most Common Spring Storms?

In general, spring is known for its severe thunderstorms, which can produce hail, lightning...


Seeing a severe thunderstorm warning probably doesn’t elicit the same level of response as a flood advisory or hurricane watch. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Severe thunderstorms—and the subsequent weather that can result from them—are capable of causing significant damage to your commercial property.

How Can Severe Thunderstorms Cause Damage to a Commercial Building?

Flash Flooding

Slow-moving thunderstorms may lead to flash flooding in a community, which can allow water to enter your commercial property. Standing water in a building requires immediate extraction, dehumidification and moisture mapping. Building owners and facility managers who put off these crucial steps may find themselves with mold, making their property unsafe...

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As winter storms and extreme winter weather become more prevalent across the United States, commercial property owners and managers must plan ahead to mitigate potential damage from the cold temperatures. One of the most significant contributors to winter losses is water damage from frozen & burst pipes. When our pipes freeze and burst, not only does it cause costly damage to our property’s infrastructure but it can also slow down or stop production and day-to-day operational continuity, causing further losses.

However, with proper planning and vigilant monitoring, property owners and managers can reduce the risk associated with winter storm damage. Consider the following tips and techniques, from Cotton’s winter storm disaster recovery experts, when preparing your property for upcoming winter seasons or storms.

Causes and Risk Factors for Frozen Pipes

The first step to protecting your pipes from...

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In its 25+ years of experience, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions has witnessed the tremendous impact commercial water damage has on a business. From misplacing residents and patients to turning away patrons, commercial properties faced with water damage can end up losing much more than just time. Additionally, this type of damage can be caused by a variety of unexpected reasons, including storm floods, ruptured water pipes, roof leaks, plumbing incidents, and fire suppression systems. Meaning that no matter how much you prepare for disaster, commercial water damage can lead to unplanned delays and costly repairs.

However, establishing a relationship with a commercial restoration company ahead of time can help you reduce business interruption following these types of incidents. Read a few of our commercial water damage case studies below to discover the impact it has on different industries and how Cotton GDS has helped others recover.

33 schools damaged by hurricane flood waters

In the wake of the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 hurricane...


Friends and Family,

There are no words to describe the heartbreak we’re all feeling after witnessing the extent of Hurricane Ian’s destruction. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the communities impacted, especially those along the West Coast of Florida, where wind speeds of up to 155 mph brought devastating storm surge and structural damage.

Days ahead of landfall, our organization deployed almost 2000 personnel and strategic assets around the state to ensure we were ready to help every community affected by the storm. We’re now a week into Hurricane Ian’s second landfall, and our teams in Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala and beyond have been working day and night to assess commercial property damages and rebuild the communities from the State of Florida to the Eastern Coast of the Carolinas and Georgia.

Governor DeSantis was right when he said it will take several years to fully rebuild the communities affected by this catastrophe, but know that the entire Cotton Team is here for you every step of the way....