How to Minimize Winter’s Impact on Your Company’s Property and Staff

Winter weather is challenging to plan for due to its unpredictable nature. So having a plan in place for your business is essential to avoiding downtime, and minimizing the impact inclement weather can have on your employees, customers, and your bottom line.

As a business owner or even an employee, there are many things you need to consider when preparing a business for winter weather.

If your business premises are small or only one story, you’re probably able to handle some of the preparations yourself. However, if your business property is larger and/or you need to have any large-scale work done, we advise hiring a commercial snow removal service company. When you hire a professional you won’t have to take time out of your own work schedule to do the job, allowing you to focus on what you’re getting paid to do. A commercial snow removal service company also has the equipment to safely handle this potentially dangerous job of keeping sidewalks and parking lots cleared and de-iced.

We created some tips to help prepare you and your business for all the challenges that come with old man winter:

Prepare your walking surfaces

  • Provide moisture-absorbent mats, rugs, or runners at building entrances to reduce wet and slippery floors. Have caution signage available.
  • Clear storm drains of debris to minimize the risk of runoff water ponding and freezing.
  • Know where to have piles of snow stockpiled that are removed from parking areas.
  • Mark and identify concrete tire stops, fire hydrants, and landscaped islands in parking areas. When snow-covered, these pose an unseen and dangerous trip and fall hazard.

Protect your building equipment

  • Have all of your emergency power sources such as generators and heating systems inspected to ensure proper operation.
  • When additional heating is required, maintain at least three feet of clearance between the heat source and all combustible materials.
  • Ensure all temporary heaters are UL listed and fitted with automatic high temperature and have tip-over shut-off devices.

Prepare fire protection systems

  • Keep snow and ice clear from access ways, control valves, fire hydrants, hose cabinets, smoke/heat vents, and fire department connections.
  • Remove any water accumulation from a dry pipe valve system through all low point drains, hose headers, fire pump headers, priming water drains, or valve pits.

Protecting your roof areas

  • Prior to the storm, have roof drains inspected to ensure they are clear of debris and fully functional.
  • During the storm, conduct a periodic roof inspection to monitor the conditions on the roof and drains. We recommend using salt around drains to keep snow/ice accumulations from freezing.
  • Remove ice from skylights and around large heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment units, as well as facades, penthouses, and parapets.
  • Remove ice buildup along the eaves/troughs and edge of the roofline.
  • If the roof is pitched and without drains, open paths to eaves to ensure drainage and prevent ponding.

We hope we provided you with tips you may not have considered. Our team has been working with businesses for nearly two decades to help them plan for the worst and expect the best. In the event your business is affected by a disastrous winter storm, KLSM is here to help. Contact us with questions or for more information.