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How To Prepare Your Building For Winter

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  • 18-08-2021
How To Prepare Your Building For Winter

How Do I Prepare My Commercial Building For The Winter?

Do you want to find out how to prepare your commercial building for the winter? We look at what to check in your building so that it is prepared during winter.

What to check in your building for winter

When the dreaded winter months arrive, it is vital to ensure your commercial property is effectively protected against the elements.  The winter seasons are intense and can be detrimental to a commercial property's exterior and interior aspects of adequate maintenance isn't carried out.

The frosty winter weather could cause some extremely hazardous conditions such as slippery roads and paths, frozen pipes, treacherous footing and more. 

Fortunately, a preventative approach can be taken when preparing your commercial building for winter and avoiding any cold-weather catastrophes. Poor property winterization may result in the need for disaster restoration work which can be extremely inconvenient and expensive; therefore, to avoid costly repairs, it is essential to protect your buildings and investments through adequate preparation. 

There are a few ways you can go about preparing your commercial property. However, it is worth being mindful that no two commercial buildings are the same and that the requirements of each may change according to size, location, age, materials and a variety of other factors.

Check your HVAC system

Although your HVAC system will be working hard all year round, it will have to work considerably harder in the winter. The HVAC system significantly affects the air quality throughout the property, which is why it is crucial to have it serviced and inspected before winter arrives. It is recommended you:

  • Review and repair any broken parts your systems may have, check and replace the air conditioning filters, 
  • Thoroughly inspect the vent work for holes, leaks and anything else that could be damaging to your systems, 
  • Cover any outdoor air-conditioning units that you won't be using during the winter, 
  • Check the ventilation system to ensure it is all working properly and ventilating exhaust gasses out of the building efficiently.
  • Consider hiring a trained professional to carry out a complete inspection of your facilities HVAC equipment before rerunning the heat for the first time.

How Do I Prepare My Commercial Building For The Winter?

Inspect the insulation

It is essential to review the insulation of the building to ensure optimum efficiency, as holes or other compromised areas could generate heat loss. It is recommended that you examine the quality and sufficiency of your building's insulation. 

You should pay particular attention to the roofs, weather stripping and unheated areas, such as attics, as a properly insulated attic can result in a heat loss of 25% during the colder seasons. 

If you discover some areas need better protection or the entire building could use a complete insulation update, then making sure to have this managed before winter strikes are recommended. Insulation has advanced significantly in recent years. 

There are various methods now available such as blanket-style insulation, foam insulation, rigid insulation, and numerous other effective, hassle-free technologies that can help you save significantly on heating and cooling expenses. 

Prepare your plumbing

Subsequent flooding and frozen pipework are two of the most prevalent reasons why water damage remediation services are needed on buildings in the winter, and frozen pipes specifically can be a major hassle. Not only can these plumbing inconveniences be extremely frustrating and costly, but they can also cause unnecessary downtime for your business. 

To help prevent internal freezing, it is recommended you keep your building's heating thermostat on warm enough temperatures throughout. Ensure your structure avoids flooding and ruptured pipes by ensuring all of your current freeze-protection appliances and alarms are in performing properly and efficiently. 

Be sure to test freeze stats and valves before the cold weather arises, wrap pipes and faucets in unheated or minimally heated areas of the building and ensure you seal any cracks or openings around exposed pipes.

Check your roofing

The roof is significantly crucial to the structure and integratory of the entire commercial property. To prevent any leaks and other expensive problems from arising, inspect for any possible roofing damages such as cracked gutters that may cause leaks during the winter season. 

It would help if you also looked out for loose shingles and repaired damage to existing seals and flashing, ensuring the roof is structurally reliable and capable of enduring another winter.

Have a disaster plan in place

Ensure you have a solid strategy on how your business will cope in an emergency should the worst possible outcome occur. Your business should have a plan for numerous potential disasters, including fires, floods and gas leaks. 

Ensure all employees and tenants are well informed and up-to-date on all protocols, and ensure everyone has a copy of the different escape strategies.

In extra preparation for possible property dilemmas this winter, it is recommended that you research contractors in your area, as ruptured pipes and other water damage catastrophes are a standard during prominently cold weather.  

Gritting paths and roads in winter

When you own a business located on private premises, you must be prepared for all weather conditions. 

It is your legal responsibility to ensure that your business premises are safely accessible at all times to employees, tenants and visitors, even in adverse weather conditions. 

Snow, sleet and ice, can cause slips, falls, and pose a serious threat to people's safety. 

Any snow or ice on your premises that may be considered a potential health and safety hazard must be cleared immediately as owners or occupiers of private land are required by law to ensure safe access to their commercial property for all staff and visitors.

Find out more about Private Road Gritting in Scotland

Gritting paths and roads in winter

If weather conditions have been extreme, the local council will typically arrange ice and snow removal by clearing and gritting public roads and paths.  

However, exceeding these public access routes, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure that their business premises are safe for access, meaning you will have to provide a solution to the problem yourself or hire a trained professional with the correct equipment to carry out the services for you.    

We offer rock salt spreading throughout Aberdeen, Peterhead, Dundee and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link below to find out more about the areas that we offer road gritting in north Scotland.