Cold Weather Cautions for Business Owners

As cold weather settles into many areas of the country, taking precautions now can help protect your business from winter hazards that frequently cause business interruptions and undermine company productivity and profits.

  • Sudden Cold Snaps. We’re always surprised by them, so planning ahead for this frequent winter occurrence is smart. Any equipment that contains or uses water, produces condensate, or depends on pneumatic controls can freeze. Pipe leaks or bursts that occur at night, over a weekend, or during a holiday period can quickly soak storage areas and offices, damaging everything. Checking piping systems now and identifying weaknesses in heating system coverage can be your best protection. Dry pipe systems are also susceptible. Generally these systems are installed in unheated or inadequately heated structures where temperatures are normally below 4°C or structures are open to outside cold temperature for long time periods. Dry pipe systems can also freeze due to water collection in improperly pitched pipes, failure to remove accumulated water from low-point drains, or failure to drain the system properly after the valve has tripped.
  • Snow Accumulation on Roofs. As one of winter’s most serious threats, heavy snow accumulation can take a normally sound roof into partial or full collapse. Once the weight of accumulated snow and ice exceeds the roof live-load capacity, its collapse can be devastating. Should weather turn warmer and rain add to accumulated snow, the weight load can quickly triple, turning a bad condition even worse. Normally warm areas ignore this hazard, yet they may be even more susceptible to sudden, unusually severe snow and rainfall since building codes may not take snow load into consideration.

  • Ice Dams. When these form along the roof line, clear them as soon as possible. Ice dams occur when heat rises from inside a building, melting snow on the roof. As melting snow runs off, evening temperatures create re-freezes to form a dam at the edge of the roof. The dam prevents additional melt water from draining, which may lead to the water seeping into the roof. Removing large chunks of ice at the edge of the roof can be accomplished by breaking ice with a shovel or pulling them down with a roof rake.

Your local Paul Davis company is available to offer ‘business check-ups’ this winter. Our technicians may spot issues that you never thought of and offer recommendations to minimize cold weather dangers that could jeopardize your business assets.