For most of the United States, winter is in full effect with cooler temperatures, brisk winds, snow, sleet, and ice. These can all wreak havoc on small businesses during the winter. Taking steps now to prepare your business can help reduce the risk of downtime, lost productivity, and damaged inventory. Winterizing your business or office may also help to lower your energy bills and - most importantly - help keep you and your employees safe. Keep the following in mind:
1. Keep the water flowing.
Frozen pipes can burst, causing significant water damage to any business location. Prevent this from happening by:
Keep thermostats set at a minimum of 55°F when the building is empty.
During especially cold situations, run a small trickle of water through your faucets.
Expose pipes to warmer temperatures by keeping cabinet and utility room doors open.
Ensure all pipes in difficult-to-access areas—such as crawlspaces, exterior walls, or attics—are insulated.
2. Schedule preventive maintenance for your office heating system.
If you lease office space in a larger building, the building’s maintenance team may already perform standard seasonal check-ups. Check with your building’s operations manager to confirm the boiler and heating system is running efficiently. If you need to schedule this check-up yourself, ask the maintenance team to check for problems with airlocks, leakage, and thermostat control. Additional steps include:
Sealing air leaks around items such as doors or windows
Checking duct systems for any gaps or holes
Automating your thermostat. Consider the benefits of reducing energy waste by installing an automated thermostat that you can control remotely through your smartphone.
3. Keep up with roof maintenance.
Your roof can take the brunt of winter’s force, whether it’s bitter cold, snow or ice. Prevent additional damage with the following tips:
Clear your roof of all debris, dirt and leaves. They can block gutters and downspouts, preventing snowmelt from properly draining away from the building. It can also cause ice dams and heavy snow buildup on your roof, which can cause additional damage.
Inspect gutters and downspouts to see how securely they are fastened to the building. Snow and ice can cause gutters to weaken and break away from the building, allowing water to seep into the wrong areas.
If a winter storm occurs, plan to have a professional snow removal service clear the roof, preventing excessive loads on the roof and eliminating the possibility of structural failure.
If you experience water damage to your building this winter, ServiceMaster DSI is here to help 24/7/365. Call us at 844-413-3130 or learn more about our commercial services here.