A commercial property owner has a lot on his or her plate. Fire, theft, cybersecurity and a rapidly changing economic market are just some of the challenges these individuals face on a daily basis. Weather presents another worry, as storms can cause significant damage to structures and extreme temperatures can strain a building’s HVAC system. Winter brings its own unique problems for property owners in the Northern and Midwest states. Last year alone, damage and economic loss estimates from winter storms were listed at approximately $8 billion. Here are three of the most common concerns proprietors face from winter weather.
Excessive snowfall poses a significant threat to structures. While buildings with pitched roofs are typically less at risk, winter storms and ice dams can damage or loosen shingles, which can lead to water leaks and moisture damage.
Flat-roofed buildings face far more serious concerns. Heavy accumulations of snow can overburden a roof, causing it to collapse. Rather than risk injury, death and extensive damage, many property owners invest in roof snow removal plans that use technology to monitor conditions and provide alerts when snowfall totals require immediate attention.
Plunging temperatures can freeze pipes, as well as any water within them. The water expands as it freezes, putting pressure on pipes. The process can cause pipes to burst, resulting in flooding and costly damage to floors and walls.
Slips and Falls
Snow and ice pose a serious risk for pedestrians. As surfaces become coated with winter precipitation, the risk of individuals slipping and falling increases. Falls can result in broken bones and other serious injuries that require lengthy hospital stays. Property owners are expected to maintain safe passage for pedestrians, and as a result many keep snow removal services and personnel on stand-by rather than jeopardize the health and safety of the public.
Winter is anything but a wonderland for a commercial property owner. Being aware of the risks and addressing potential problems, however, can help him or her spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the beautiful landscape.