‘Winter is coming’. For business owners and property managers, the lucrative sale action of the holiday months is often coupled with increased maintenance. As the business owner or property manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that customers and employees alike are safe. To protect your property during the winter months, it’s best to plan ahead. Don’t be reactive- instead, hire the right help to cover snow removal, the right team to shovel the sidewalks, and keep your walkways dry.
In this article, we’ll give 5 actionable tips to help preparing commercial properties for the winter.
1. Protect the Pipes
Frozen pipes can cost you A TON of money, heartache, and downtime. So instead of worrying about the heating bill, worry about protecting the pipes. Keep the temperature high enough to prevent pipes from freezing even if you still wish to turn the heat down when your store closes for the day. You’ll be happy you paid the seasonal heat bill rather than financing a new plumbing system and suffering downtime while it’s repaired.
2. Protect the Power Bill
Speaking of keeping the cost of heat low, do an inspection for drafts on your property. Dealing window and door drafts will help your building conceal the heat- meaning you can protect your pocket from an overactive HVAC system.
3. Clean the Gutters
The best way to protect your roof from water damage is to clean your gutters. Allowing leaves to merge with ice in your gutters over the winter season is going to impact your irrigation system. If you can’t find the time to get on top of the roof, hire someone too. Better yet, if you’re in a property with very high roofing hire someone to remove the possibility of injuring yourself.
4. Prepare for Snow, Ice, and Rain
If you live in the North or any area that’s going to be dealing with snow, it’s important to have the inventory and service support you need to protect your employees, customers, and vehicles alike. Invest in a snow removal service that will watch the weather report so you don’t have to. If you’re lucky, they’ll offer walkway care too.
It’s important to keep your walkways clear because for most states in the nation, your liability for the safety of the customers that walk across them. If a person falls on your walkway and gets seriously injured, they may sue you for their injuries. Prevent that with a snow removal service that will salt the ice.
5 Plan Regular Inspections
Generally speaking, you should be heavily inspecting your commercial properties at least once throughout the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, plan to make a monthly visit to the property. Checking on the foundation, the ceiling, and the irrigation system are a few of the top priorities. Secondary ‘checks’ should revolve around what you know is a pain point for the building. Keep an eye on old gutters, dangerous walkways, and window fortitude.
The Better You Plan- The Better You’ll Be
“Preparing Commercial Properties for the Winter” – Like most things in business, the more you can prepare the better off you’ll be. Make sure you have the services you need to keep customers safe. Train your closing managers to lower the heat to a healthy temperature, without risking the pipes. Keep extra salt in your inventory and don’t allow snow and salt to stack in doorways.
Do you have any tips for preparing your storefront for heavy snow, ice, and low temperatures? Share your tips (or horror stories) in the comments.