Protecting your home against winter water damage
Winter is coming and cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Although we had a mild winter last year here in Winston Salem, it is best to be prepared. The time to prepare is now before the chance of freezing temperatures. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits.
Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries.
Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. Areas that hold standing water can freeze and cause a slip and fall hazard.
Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems.
Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
Ask your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
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