Keep your building snug during bad weather
• Pay attention to local weather forecasts for extremely cold weather or heavy snowfall.
• Check to see if your building needs any special maintenance or repairs, and if so, fix the issues as soon as possible.
• If your commercial building is not in regular use or your store is closed for a few days or more, make a point of stopping by fairly often to check on the furnace and air circulation. Retail items (especially perishables) and equipment can be damaged if the temperature inside the building drops too low or the air is too dry.
Keep the exterior of your building secure:
• Clear snow from around the building to protect the foundation and keep water from getting inside.
• Clear snow and ice from parking lots and use ice melt, salt, or sand to prevent falls or car accidents.
• Check your roofing materials (such as shingles) for any damage that could cause water leakage or mold and mildew issues.
• If there is a heavy build-up of snow on your roof, clean it off – you don’t want to risk a roof collapse or an ice dam. Roof rakes are very helpful.
• Clean leaves and debris out of your eavestroughs and downspouts. Blockages can cause water leaks or ice build-up, which can damage your building. If heavy icicles fall off your building while someone is walking by, they could be badly hurt.
• Once the snow starts to melt, remove piles of snow and make sure you have proper drainage away from the building. This will help prevent water seepage.
• Make sure parking lot drains, street drains, and gutters are clear of snow and ice when the weather starts to thaw.
Keep the inside of your building warm and dry:
• Keep your thermostat set to a consistent temperature, both day and night. We recommend that even an empty building be kept at no lower than 15 degrees Celsius to prevent water from freezing and pipes from bursting.
• Reduce your heating bill by sealing up any exterior gaps, which will keep out drafts.
• Make sure your heating appliances (such as your furnace, boiler, and/or hot water heater) are regularly maintained and serviced by a qualified plumbing and heating contractor.
• Change your furnace filters routinely and clean air vents to free up air flow.
If your building will be vacant for a while, shut off your main water valve and drain your pipes. Flush your toilets to drain the tanks and add a little antifreeze to the leftover water to keep it from freezing and cracking the porcelain.
Protect your business with insurance
If you do have any weather-related trouble with your building or your business this winter, our business insurance packages are here to help. Contact Heritage Insurance to find out which of our services are right for you.