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October 28, 2019

Preparing your commercial property for Winter

The nights are drawing in, and the temperatures are beginning to drop. These are clear signs that it is time to get your commercial property ready for winter. As manufacturers and suppliers of various types of PVC Roll, we work closely with many businesses, and so here we share our top tips on how to prepare your commercial property for winter: 

Planning Ahead

Although we are by no means in the depth of winter yet, there are a few things you should be thinking about. Here is some guidance to make sure you are prepared for colder conditions, including:

  • Check your drains, gutters and roofs to make sure they are all in good working order. When you are completing this task, make sure you are following the Work at Height Regulations even if it is not an employee of yours undertaking the task.
  • Check your manufacturing processes and materials to see if any of them will be affected by low temperatures.
  • Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan which covers winter-specific conditions.
  • Get a professional plumber to check your plumbing joints for leaks - including those that are hidden.
  • Perform a comprehensive risk assessment making sure you evaluate flood, ice and snow hazards including roof collapse from the weight of snow or large falling icicles.
  • Prevent your water supply stopcock from stiffening by turning it on and off from time to time.
  • Review your existing insulation to make sure it is sufficient to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • Review your fire risk assessment needs to make sure you inform your insurance intermediary of any additional heating.

Don't forget about the external parts of your commercial property as well:

  • Assess exterior lighting around your premises, as when there are fewer hours of daylight, it may be harder for people to see areas of ice and so you may have to deal with more slippages.
  • Implement some slip-related safety measures such as diverting people to less slippery walkways or gritting walkways.

Plan ahead for flooding

The Environment Agency recently warned that heavy rain in winter could put 5.5 million properties at risk at flooding. Therefore, it is worth carrying out some checks to make sure you and your property are prepared for the risk of flooding:

  • Keep an eye on the Government Flood Warning Information website to make sure you are informed of possible flooding risks from rivers, seas or other sources. You can also sign up for a flood warning email which will ensure you are on top of things as they happen.
  • Take a good look at the Environment Agency's guide to preparing your property for flooding as it will alert you to the appropriate measures that could protect your property.

Closing your business for winter

If you close your business down in the winter – over the Christmas period, for example – then you will need to consider the following:

  • Don't turn your heating off or lower the temperature too much. The best advice is to leave it running at around 15 degrees to prevent water from freezing.
  • Ensure your pipes are lagged correctly, especially those in unheated areas such as under floor spaces and in lofts.
  • Have someone keep an eye on your property so that they can contact you at the first signs of a leak
  • Hire a professional to check everything, especially if you have a condensing type central heating boiler.

The main message is to plan, plan, and plan some more. Here at Strip Curtains Direct, we have a wide range of items that will help you prepare for winter including grit bins, signage, mirrors and impact protection.