Your winter weather checklist: Preparing your building against winter disaster

The buzz of the holidays is a distant memory and winter weather is just ramping up. With the promise of snow and strong winds, if your building isn’t properly prepared you could face a major disaster.

So how do you know if you’re building is armed to fight the winter weather? Action Public Adjusters has put together a list to best prepare you and your building:

Check Your HVAC System

Damaged or old HVAC systems can cause major fires. Check to ensure there are no leaking fuel lines or faulty connections between the unit itself and where the gas comes into the system. Make sure not to crowd your HVAC system as well. Maybe systems are in small closets or tight spaces in a basement but keep any storage far enough away from it. The HVAC needs room to breathe and if any flammable materials are too close, they may easily catch fire. HVAC systems can also lead to electrical issues if not maintained properly. Your system relies on electrical connections to operate properly and as these connections get older, they can come loose, burn the wires, and cause a fire.

Check Your Pipes and Irrigation

Frozen or bursting pipes could be your worst nightmare. Even when the building is empty, keep your heaters on a low setting. Be sure to caulk there are any holes for cracks that expose your pipes to the elements, to prevent the cold air from reaching the pipes. If you’re building will be empty for a long period of time, drain any water in your tank and turn off the water. If your property has sprinklers, you’ll need to winterize them to ensure damage doesn’t occur. Drain the system of any water and shut it down until spring arrives.

Check Your Roof

Ensure your roof doesn’t have any weak or broken spots that may have been caused by heavy snow and ice. Cover any seams and identify where water, snow or ice could accumulate the most. If there is a snowstorm, once it is safe to do so, clean off your roof to prevent any leaks or ice dams.  In addition to your roof, make sure your gutters and roof drains are cleaned out. After any type of snow, you want your gutters to be able to drain the water as quickly as possible. Standing water can leak into your building and cause water or mold damage.

Check Your Windows and Walls

The cold weather can cause exterior walls made of masonry and brick to shift. This can allow for water and ice to get into the façade and cause cracks or deterioration. Make sure to look at the entire exterior of your home or building and fix any caulking or cement that may not be in the best condition. Windows that aren’t properly sealed may cause more issues then just letting cold air in. Assess the sealant and caulking on each window to ensure water cannot get inside.

While early preparation is important to avoiding any disasters, we know how unpredictable winter weather can be. If your building has sustained any dire, water, mold, or wind damage this season, call Action Public Adjusters today to begin your insurance claim.