Below are a few of the steps you can take today 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 buildings or unoccupied areas of the 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.

Source:  The Hanover Insurance Group 

Posted 10:23 AM

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