Last winter was difficult for most Central Oregonians. Those feelings of frustration show as people were stocking up on supplies like snow blowers and shovels before the first hint of significant snow flurries this year. For your commercial property, there are many ways to be proactive in addition to having a snow blower on hand when the weather turns cold. Here are some tips based on policies our Asset & Property Management team uses to maintain Central Oregon commercial properties.
Weatherize the building beforehand
When it comes to inclement weather, it’s important to be prepared. As property managers, we work with our clients to come up with a plan so each property is as ready as possible. Last winter taught us some lessons and we spent time to prepare for this cold season during the summer. For instance, a few of our buildings had gutter systems, yet didn’t have heat tape. This allowed ice dams to build up. When left untreated, the ice dams can cause large amounts of water damage and become very costly for building owners. Therefore, heat tape was added to the buildings according to need. This year, we’ve already had one snow and multiple mornings with frost, but it’s not too late to improve buildings so they are ready for the snowy and icy weather that will come with the winter months.
Plan for snow and ice removal
In addition, snow accumulation has the potential to cause accidents in parking lots, driveways and sidewalks, and snow-melt from shoes and boots, in entryways has potential to cause slips and falls. However, taking time to formulate and implement a plan as to when snow removal will happen, where snow will be moved within parking lots and sidewalks, and what process will happen for de-icing, etc. will aid in a smoother winter season, no matter the precipitation. Most cities have a policy for snow removal on commercial properties, and it’s important to take this into consideration. However, the city’s policy is not always the best standard for clearing snow around commercial properties and may need to be done more frequently to allow customers to access the business. Creating a policy based on the individual customer base is advised.
If temperatures are forecast to drop below 20°F, protecting pipes from freezing is essential. When air temperatures drop too low, they can easily freeze exposed or pipes without insulation, causing significant damage and costing property owners and tenants money, especially if there’s flooding. Burst pipes have potential to create horrific situations that take time and money for remediation, however, they can also be prevented with the right plans in place.
As you may be shopping for the best snow blower available or tuning up an existing one, remember to prepare and make a plan for a variety situations you may face. If you’re looking for a world-class property management company to help you plan and manage your properties and lower risk this winter, give us a call at 541-330-0025.
Recently Cascade Business News published an article from SAIF, Oregon’s not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurance company. Read the article here for further tips about safeguarding your business this winter.