The colder months can cause detrimental effects to any building. But if that building is an office, it can cause turmoil within the business, creating a knock-on effect throughout other areas of the workforce. In addition, extreme weather conditions, like ice and snow, need the use of snow removal services before the damage transmits to the inside, while the low temperatures should be expelled as soon as they hit the windows.
In our guide today, we will be showing some of the best ways to protect your office building during the winter weather, to ensure that your business stays running in the most efficient way possible.
Insulate the Pipes
The aftermath of a burst pipe can be detrimental to your business. Known as an ‘escape of water’ to insurance companies, these are disruptive and expensive to fix. The cost of repairs to the structure is expensive enough, but other issues, such as replacing damaged items, replastering the ceiling, and redecorating the office, ramp the overall cost up, too.
A burst pipe can have a hugely adverse affect on a business, before even considering the damage to the building. Being without permanent premises can slow work down, perhaps to a halt. Waiting for repairs and the space to dry out completely can take months.
To protect your pipes from extreme weather, insulation with rubber or foam tubes can be great. Insulation will also help with efficiency, keeping the work spaces warmer for longer.
If bad luck strikes and you have a frozen pipe, the best thing to do is turn off the water supply from the stop tap. After turning this off, check to see if the pipe has burst. If not, turn on the water supply and then turn the affected tap on. This will allow warm water to flow through and defrost the ice. Warm towels or low-temperature hairdryers are other good choices to help the melting process, but it is advised not to use a naked flame for this process.
Service Your Boiler
Your boiler feels the strain at the same time of year, every year. Working overtime after warmer months have passed is nothing new for a boiler, but it is essential to keep on top of the components and to service the system during the warmer periods. If your boiler or a part of it fails during the winter, you will have a severe problem that may not be able to be fixed straight away, putting your office out of business temporarily as no heat can be generated in the building. Annual boiler services will find any issues early and ensure your staff are always working in the best conditions. If a problem arises, the fee to call out an engineer can be pretty expensive – always remember to use a registered Gas Safe engineer.
Check and Clear the Car Park and Walkways
Slipping on snow and ice is all too common, and it doesn’t take much to resolve this issue. Ensure you and your staff wear footwear that caters to slippery conditions and do your bit by spreading rock salt around to help melt the ice and snow around your business. Snow on walkways and car parks can be cleared quickly with snow shovels, ensuring your staff can enter the car park without getting their cars stuck and walk on the paths without risk of injury.
Make Sure the Roof is in Good Shape.
The weight of built-up snow can put a strain on an older roof, especially if it isn’t in the best condition. Having your roof surveyed once a year is advisable as it will keep you up to date with any signs of potential damage as each year passes. As with the boiler, being clued up on the condition of the roof of your property can help prevent water leaks and other cracks. Identify the problems before the cold weather hits and save yourself a lot of time and money. Some of the main issues are loose tiles and unstable chimneys.
While everything here is helpful, ensuring that you have insurance is vital in being completely protected against the cold months. All scenarios cannot be guarded against, but having the right cover will keep you safe if a problem does arise, and it will also help you save some money along the way. The primary insurance policies you should look at taking out are:
- Employer’s liability insurance – keeps you protected against incidents, including trips, falls or slips, that your employees may have faced in the workplace.
- Public liability insurance – covers against incidents such as slips, trips, or falls that people not employed by your company may have faced while on your company premises.
- Buildings and contents insurance – covers any burst pipe claims, damage to the roof from extreme weather conditions, and helps cover against loss of income from damage to the property.
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