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New England winters are known for their unpredictability. Keeping your business operations running smoothly and safely this winter is dependent on being prepared for whatever winter weather might bring. Below are a few of the steps you can take to address the most common problems that cause property damage in winter.

Cold air in enclosed spaces

  • Visually inspect concealed spaces for gaps in wall materials; water pipes in these areas can freeze if unprotected
  • Keep these spaces warmed to at least 50° F or use certified heat tape

Sprinkler systems and related equipment

  • Keep building temperatures at 50° F for wet-pipe systems, including the enclosures housing a riser equipped with a dry pipe valve
  • Dry pipe systems should be drained at the low point prior to the onset of cold weather
  • Service and inspect all hydrants, tanks, fire dept. connections and sprinkler system accessories before the onset of cold weather

General building protection

  • Inspect vacant properties or unoccupied areas of a building during cold weather to be sure heating systems are functioning properly
  • Identify sources of cold air infiltration and repair leaks or seals
  • Inspect roofs to be sure they can withstand snow loads; remove snow from roofs if roof strength is in question
  • Keep gutters, downspouts and roof drains clear to avoid clogging and freezing

Preventing ice dams

  • Increase insulation above ceilings inside the building
  • Consider the use of heating cables to prevent ice dams
  • Increase ventilation in attic spaces
  • Inspect roofs for evidence of standing water (mold, mildew, vegetation) that might indicate future problems, and address the situation with a roofing contractor
  • SAFELY remove snow with a roof rake or stiff-bristled broom when ice dams have been a problem (always follow OSHA guidelines for worker safety during roof work)

Responding to a heat loss event

  • Drain any equipment that contains water that could freeze if the temperature drops
  • Investigate sources of temporary heat to be prepared for low temperatures
  • Train security or maintenance/facility personnel in how to close automatic sprinkler valves if a leak or break should occur

Taking the above steps and performing routine maintenance of your property can be key to preventing property damage during winter months and throughout the year.

Source:  Hanover Insurance


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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.