Property Recovery 911 was contacted for an emergency board up job on a Friday night to secure a broken plate glass window at an Ace Cash Express storefront located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. Exposed to the elements and offering easy access to intruders, rapid execution of commercial board up jobs is crucial in mitigating the possibility of profound financial and legal liability.
We arrived on the commercial board up job location within one hour and cordoned off the area to keep local foot traffic well away from the shards of broken glass strewn about the sidewalk. In this instance, securing the area around the storefront board up job was particularly important as the adjacent building houses a busy tavern with considerable patronage.
Commercial Board Up Job
Glass removal was decidedly hazardous on this storefront board up job, owing to the presence of traditional plate glass that was most assuredly installed decades before. Although traditional plate glass is commonly present in older buildings, many municipalities have established building codes requiring the installation of safety glass in commercial locations.
Building codes are often updated in conjunction with advances in building material technologies that may not have been available during the construction of an older property. Laws established after construction may not require the property owner to comply, however the legal liability can be extreme making voluntary retroactive compliance a wise decision in some instances.
Storefront Board Up Execution
We most often use the tension method board up technique on commercial board up jobs. The tension method employs combination of 2”X4” lumber, plywood and carriage bolts to create a secure, damage free ‘compression unit’ set between frame beams. The dated storefront housing Ace Cash Express however, did not lend itself to a tension board up approach and required our technicians to devise an unorthodox storefront board up.
After the broken glass was cleared, we constructed a frame to accept the 5/8” plywood sheeting that would ultimately secure the building. This frame consisted of lengths of 2”x4” lumber on opposite edges of the void affixed vertically to horizontal ‘anchor’ lengths secured to the floor and ceiling of the window display. The frame was then completed with a row of horizontal lengths of 2”x4” lumber spanning the length of the opening and fastened to the aforementioned vertical boards.