Burst pipes, flooding, ice damming, and a heating system malfunction are all potential consequences of ol’ man winter. Winterizing your business not only helps to maintain continuous operations, but can save your business money.
Here are 11 tips to prepare your small business for winter:
1) Have heating systems inspected. Whether it is your boiler, gas fire, radiator, or furnace, get an expert to check the machine for safety and functionality.
2) Ensure pipes are properly insulated. An inadequately insulated pipe can burst, which can lead to flooding, water damage, and costly repairs.
3) Replace old windows and doors. Poorly insulated doors and windows lead to cold drafts, which can significantly increase your utility bills. If you’re unable to replace old windows or doors, add weather stripping and insulated window film to stop heat loss. It’s one of the best ways to prepare your small business for winter while saving money.
4) Check for weak, low-hanging branches. When covered in heavy snow, weak, low-hanging branches can cause damage to your building’s exterior.
5) Clear gutters of debris. Make sure gutters are clear to allow for melting snow on the roof to drain freely.
6) Check roof tiles. Strong winds from a winter storm can rip off loose tiles, so be sure all tires are securely fastened.
7) Don’t leave empty buildings unheated. In cases of extreme cold, don’t leave sections of your building unheated for extended periods of time. The thermostat should be set high enough that the coldest part of the building won’t be subject to freezing pipes.
8) Invest in a generator. A generator can keep your business operating even in the event of a power outage.
9) Review insurance coverage. Business interruption insurance, for example, offers financial protection in case your business becomes temporarily halted due to a severe winter storm.
10) Let natural light in. Not only does natural light add warmth to the office air, it can boost employee morale and help combat seasonal affective disorders.
11) Review your insurance. Make sure that you have the proper coverage for your business and your business property by speaking with your insurance agent.