Winter damage can negatively impact your business properties even if you take the necessary preventive measures in the summer and fall. It’s still important to prepare a building maintenance plan. You’ll need this plan to reduce damage in case of a catastrophic event.
During blizzards, snow, and other weather elements, preventive and maintenance activities would be difficult. So, here is the checklist for a winter damage and maintenance plan.
Cold temperature can freeze your pipes. Water, when frozen expands, and can increase pressure on the pipes. When this happens, the pipes can burst and cause more damage to your business property.
Cracks, floods, ruined documents, and other worse scenarios can happen. Besides, your business needs to close temporarily while you fix the problem. Given the winter season, fixing might take a while.
Your building’s pipes are prone to this risk, especially if your office is on the ground floor. So, your solution is to prevent the pipes from bursting.
- Regularly check your pipes for signs of freezing, especially those that are exposed to weather elements.
- Insulate exposed pipes to minimize freezing.
- Seal cracks, if any, to ensure to frozen water can’t aggravate the cracks.
- Interior temperatures should be kept warm, and tell your tenants (if you have a rental building) to do so, too.
- Prevent excessive moisture around the pipes. Dry the area where moisture seeps in.
Lower temperature increases the heating efficiency of your HVAC system. However, a faulty HVAC system won’t even do its job during winter. Thus, it can cause damage to your building since you’ll need good running heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to keep the pipes warm inside out.
At least two weeks before the winter weather hits, check, inspect, and clean these parts to ensure your HVAC is in great condition:
- Blocked blowers and hoses
- Inefficient heating portions
- Air filters replacement
- Air vents and airflow consistency
- Thermostats function
Regular Winter Maintenance
Maintenance during winter is essential, too. It would be best if you acted quickly to protect your building from further damages and others (tenants, customers, employees) from risks.
- Remove snow piles before they reach and pose risks to people.
- Set a regular schedule for snow pile removal.
- De-ice walkways and sidewalks to ensure the safety of everyone in your vicinity.
- Change door floor mats regularly or whenever the floor mat is wet.
Ice Dam Prevention
What is an ice dam? It is the frozen water that builds up on your gutter and prevents melted ice from draining off your roof. An ice dam can cause more damage because it can weaken your roof. It can aggravate any weak spots in your roof, too.
Aside from damaging your roof, an ice dam can increase the cost of your utility bills. When the damage on your roof leaks cold air inside your building, your HVAC has to do double-time to keep the temperature comfortable inside.
So, what to do then?
- Check your roof for possible damage before winter.
- Remove snow piles on your roof.
- Replace damaged or loose shingles.
- Monitor your building’s utility costs and investigate any erratic or sudden increases.
- De-froze ice dams before they cause any damage, so always check your roof and gutters regularly or every time blizzards or heavy snow occurs.
You have done all the preventive measures and the checklists above. Yet, one winter, you experience costly damages to your building because a frozen pipe burst or a snow pile weakens your roof. The solution is to get an MD Commercial Property Insurance as part of crisis management.
Why should you get one? First, the insurance covers your costly repairs. With insurance, you will be reimbursed for the expense of the repairs in cases of damages due to frozen pipe or other winter element risks.
Second, you can protect your business from costly litigation. Well, someone might slip on your building’s premises and sue you for damages or injuries.
Third, you can prevent income loss when your business has to close due to blizzards or a must-needed repair caused by a frozen pipe.
As a business owner, you must take all the precautionary measures to prevent any income loss or property damage. Whether it’s a frozen pipe that bursts or an ice dam that weakens your building roof, you must prepare.
You have two options. One, get insurance for unprecedented situations. Two, rely on preventive maintenance and cross your fingers that nothing happens. Perhaps, you can do both so your business is fully covered.
About Moody Insurance Worldwide
Moody Insurance Worldwide, a division of Moody & Associates that was founded in 1914, is a leading provider of risk management programs and insurance coverage to individuals and businesses across the East Coast. We write all sizes of businesses, with technical expertise in many key industry areas, and provide personal insurance programs for estates and high net worth individuals. Our licensed, experienced commercial account managers can work with you to determine the coverage that you need at a competitive rate. Contact us today at (855) 868-0170 to learn more about what we can do for you.