As the cold weather makes its way into town over the next several months it is important to ensure that you protect and winterize your properties from the harsh weather. Below are a few guidelines on how get your commercial property prepared for the brutal Winter ahead. While local forecasts are not anticipating a significant amount of snowfall this Winter season, they are expecting temperatures to be significantly colder than last year, which may wreak havoc on property owners and facility managers. Below is a short but important checklist of items to inspect as we make our way into the heart of Winter.
Piping Assess all pipes for damage and possible cracks and leakage. Install insulation as needed to all piping and keep interior building temperatures at an acceptable level (between 66 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid freezing. It may be beneficial to turn off main water valve if a property will be unoccupied or vacant during the Winter months. It also may be beneficial to pour antifreeze in all vacant-space plumbing appliances (toilet, sink, etc.), to avoid any freezing.
Weather Stripping and Caulking Weather stripping doors and windows are beneficial to keep out strong winds & drafts. It also helps seal entrances from water infiltration, which could cause interior damage and moldy conditions. Caulking to seal cracks and seams in sidewalks, walls, and around window frames and doors should also be done to ensure all areas are sealed from any harsh exterior weather or precipitation. Both caulking and weather stripping together will also help save money on your utility bill as it will allow HVAC systems to work more efficiently.
Gas Lines Inspect all gas lines for possible damage and leaks and ensure all systems are functioning as designed.
Filters and Batteries Change filters as needed and test batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace batteries as necessary to ensure all safety-related alarm systems are functioning as designed.
Security An empty building can be a target for crime and vandalism. It may be worth installing security systems to monitor your property and alert the authorities if there is any sort of trespassing or illegal activity occurring on the premises. Adequate lighting, including motion sensors will keep the property well lit, safer, and will deter unwanted criminal activity and loitering.
Do Not Delay Repairs If any common area property damage is noted, do not put off repairs until the Spring or until weather is warmer. Waiting will only give the problem time to deteriorate further and may ultimately cost more to fix in the future.