Skip to main content

Commercial Property: How to Weather the Storm

Winter is here and unpredictable weather events can cause serious damage to your commercial property. By taking a few proactive steps and getting the coverage you need, you can make sure the storms don’t end up costing your company in a big way this winter.

Roof Check

Verifying the structural integrity of your property’s roof is particularly important when ice or snow may place additional pressure on your structure. The weight of this winter build-up could lead to collapse especially if your building has a flat roof, requiring a property claim for certain and potentially injury claims by those in the building at the time. In addition, a roof collapse could lead to significant loss of work time.

Making certain your roof is solid prior to weather events will make it less likely that you’ll see these problems.

Even if a roof doesn’t collapse, property can be damaged when leaks develop in the roof. When ice forms along the edge of a roof, it might create a dam that keeps melting snow and ice from draining properly, often leading to significant damage.

Checking for proper ventilation and insulation of upper-stories should help mitigate the formation of these ice dams.

Protect Your Pipes

Freezing temperatures can often damage pipes and that can be a very expensive problem to fix. It might require professional thawing of pipes or, as a worst case scenario, replacement of burst pipes and all of the property damaged by flooding. These are not only pricey solutions but may not be covered in your commercial property insurance policy.

Keeping the temperature higher than 45 degrees throughout unoccupied buildings or traditionally unheated spaces, such as attics or basements, or draining pipes in buildings where the heat is off are important first steps. Insulating pipes and external spigots can also decrease the likelihood of this type of disaster.

Sump Pump Check

Should you have basement flooding in your building, a properly working sump pump will be critical to protecting the space from water damage. Unfortunately winter storms also come with power outages and deep freezes that might keep your sump pump from doing its job. Installing a battery backup is a smart investment.

Verify Your Coverage

Of course, despite all of your best efforts, Mother Nature may have her way with your commercial property this winter. Sitting down with an insurance professional to make sure you have the coverage you need is the best way to make sure you (and your building) can weather the storm.