Winter Weather Tips to Protect Your Business Property
Winter can wreak havoc on single family homes—but what about your business property? If you’re a commercial property owner, protecting your investment against winter hazards is critical. Bearingstar Insurance has collected six winter weather tips to help you winterize and protect your business this season.
Inspect your generator
A generator is a wise investment for any property owner. It can keep the lights on or electronic equipment operating and maybe even reduce the possibility that freezing temperatures will lead to a burst pipe. However, they can also be dangerous if they are not properly installed and regularly maintained by a professional. If a storm is in the forecast, it’s a wise idea to ensure your generator is in good working order and to test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, which should be placed nearby.
Find shelter for vehicles and other equipment
If possible, vehicles on your property should be moved to a safe location in the event of a storm, like a covered garage. Any materials or equipment lying around outside should be stored to prevent damage from extreme cold, heavy snow, and destructive winds.
Remove snow and ice from pedestrian walkways
Parking lots, entryways, sidewalks, and any other areas likely to see foot traffic should be cleared regularly of ice and snow. The last thing you want is someone slipping and falling at your property, so taking precautions, like salting walkways, adding non-slip mats to entrances, and indicating a potentially wet floor with appropriate signage, may help keep employees, customers, and residents safe when entering and exiting your property.
Evaluate the condition of your roof
As a property owner, you should make sure that all debris is removed from gutters and down spouts and make sure roof drains are clear throughout the winter. If you uncover any issues, have these fixed by a professional as soon as you can—these repairs should not wait. In addition, heavy snow accumulating on your roof can cause a lot of damage. Clearing off your roof is a job for a professional though, so hire a certified contractor to remove snow drifts and ice for you.
If you don’t stay on top of snow accumulations, you are at higher risk for one of the most common and dreaded issues for New England property owners—an ice dam. These mammoth icicles can form when the snow on your roof melts during a period of warmer temperatures and then refreezes at the building’s roofline when temps drop again. When an ice dam forms, it can impede any further drainage of water from melting snow, which adds to the ice dam. Worse, this can cause a backup of water into your building, which can pool inside ceilings, walls, and window casings. Eventually, this may lead to leaks that can result in thousands of dollars in damages to your business property.
Insulate your pipes
One of the most common winter property damage is pipes freezing and bursting. To help prevent this from happening, you should try and keep your building heated at all times. You should also make sure areas of your property, like garages, attics, basements and crawl spaces, are properly insulated as these are spots where pipes may be most at risk. To catch a potential problem quickly, another tip for property owners is to install smart leak detectors near your water pipes or at the main valve of your water shutoff system.
Check your insurance
Understanding what your commercial insurance policy protects is a smart way to defend against winter risks that could trigger a claim. If you’re not sure your building is properly insured, then it’s time to call Bearingstar. Our local agents can evaluate all your existing commercial real estate policies and if we find any gaps in coverage, we will recommend an insurance program that may safeguard your investment no matter the season.
Please contact a member of our Massachusetts team by calling 877-801-7424 or reach out to a Connecticut Bearingstar professional by calling 888-519-9996. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the best insurance coverages to protect your business property.
- U.S. Small Business Administration. Prepare Your Small Business for Winter Storms. https://www.sba.gov/blog/prepare-your-small-business-winter-storms
- Alert Media. 6 Steps to Winter Preparedness for Business [+ Checklist]. https://www.alertmedia.com/blog/business-winter-preparation/