Winter weather on the horizon? Just as you are preparing a home, you need to take steps in advance to protect your commercial property during the winter. Every step you take can save you money and repairs along the way. So start now and check out our winter checklist for commercial real estate.
Prepare from the inside, out. Focus on:
- Plumbing and plumbing: Even if your property is vacant during the winter months, it can keep the pipes freezing or breaking if you keep the heater on a low setting. To bear this small heating cost throughout the winter costs less than an expensive replacement for pipe replacement. If tenants will be inside year round, inspect the heating system carefully. Make repairs before unscrewing the thermostat.
- Windows and doors: Are all entrances sealed and secured? Cracks and drafts can increase energy costs throughout the winter. Replace all windows that show wear and seal openings. Double-checked entrances can also protect against burglary if your property will be vacant.
- Roof: Check your roof for damage and loose shingles. Inspect gutters and make sure they are attached to the building. Paying attention to your roof and making repairs can prevent ice ponds from forming on top of your building. After a heavy snowfall, clean the roof of excess snow.
- Lighting: Winter brings earlier sunsets and darker days. Indoor and outdoor lighting is important for commercial property security. Add indoor lighting to fight the darkness and replace burnt out light bulbs. Evaluate exterior lighting, especially around entrances and in congested areas. If you have not already done so, you may want to consider investing in automatic lights with sensors that light up at dusk or when motion is detected.
- Exterior: Keep the parking lot and sidewalks around the building free of snow and ice. Shovel after each snowfall. Keep salt on the ground to prevent slipping and falling. These steps not only promote the safety of employees and visitors but also help prevent accidents from accidents. In addition, winterize your landscaping by cutting down trees and shrubs. Turn off and drain irrigation systems. Inspect the exterior of your building for cracks and leaks, and repair if necessary.
Commercial real estate is a major investment. Protect your and your tenants through the cold weather with this winter checklist. Then talk to a local, independent agent about the right business insurance options for you.