Winterising Your Commercial Property: Steps for a Safe and Functional Season.
Did you know that by the meteorological calendar winter begins on the 1st of December? Or if you use the astronomical calendar it begins on 21st December? For most of us here in the UK it feels like it starts much earlier, and it can bring about challenges for commercial property owners. However, with proper preparation, you can safeguard your property against harsh weather conditions. Here are some steps to ensure your commercial space remains safe and operational throughout the winter months.
1. Conduct a Property Inspection
Perform a thorough inspection of your property. Are there any existing damage or areas needing repair? Check for leaks, cracks in windows, doors, or damaged roofing. Repair any damaged tiles, flashing, or seals.
2. Weatherproofing Your Building
Ensure proper insulation in walls, ceilings, and attics to maintain a stable indoor temperature. Consider installing a waterproof membrane beneath roofing materials to prevent water infiltration and weather-stripping around windows and doors to prevent drafts. Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to ensure proper water drainage away from the building. Install splash blocks or extenders to direct water away from the foundation
3. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Maintenance
Schedule professional maintenance for your heating system. Clean or replace air filters, check for proper functionality, and ensure all vents and ducts are clear. A well-maintained HVAC system will efficiently regulate indoor temperatures.
4. Protect Pipes and Plumbing
Frozen pipes are a common issue during winter. Insulate exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas. Have a plan in place to quickly respond to any plumbing issues that arise.
5. Snow and Ice Management
Develop a snow and ice removal plan. Cracks and potholes can develop on paths and roads if ice and snow build up so arrange for timely snow removal services to keep car parks, paths, and entrances clear and safe for employees, clients, and visitors. Stock up on salt and necessary equipment for efficient removal and remember salt needs to be applied before ice forms
6. Outdoor Maintenance
Trim tree branches near the property to prevent damage from heavy snow or ice. Secure outdoor furniture or equipment to prevent them from being damaged or causing hazards during storms.
7. Emergency Preparedness
Create an emergency kit and plan for the property. Include essentials like flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and emergency contact information. Communicate this plan to all occupants and employees.
8. Regular Inspections During Winter
Throughout the winter season, continue to inspect the property regularly. Address any issues promptly to prevent minor problems from becoming major concerns.
Preparing a commercial property for winter needs a proactive approach to ensure the safety and functionality of the space during harsh weather conditions. By following these steps and staying vigilant throughout the season, property owners can mitigate potential risks and maintain a comfortable and safe environment for all occupants.