Your commercial property was likely an important and costly investment, and winters in Maryland and the surrounding states can be rough on parking lots, landscaping, and buildings. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare your property for snow, ice, and cold temperatures. Best of all, doing so can save you time, money, and heartache in the long run by preventing various types of potential damage this winter.
At Limitless Paving & Concrete, we prioritize advising our clients about the most effective ways to prepare both large and small commercial properties for winter. With the proper preparation and care, your property can be just as functional and aesthetically pleasing in the spring as it is right now.
This guide highlights several of the most important steps you can take in the coming weeks to prevent unnecessary damage to your real estate this winter.
Why a Winter Preparation Plan is Important
Chances are you have invested a significant amount of time and money into your commercial property. Your carefully planned landscape, freshly sealed parking lot, and remodeled building may not be quite ready to face a harsh New England winter without a little extra preparation, though. Frozen pipes, roof damage, and dangerous amounts of snow and ice in your parking lots are just a few of the problems your commercial property may face if you forget (or run out of time) to complete all the steps in your winter preparation plan.
8 Steps for Winterizing Your Commercial Property
Taking the time to winterize your commercial property this fall can be far less expensive and inconvenient than having to fix problems several weeks or months from now. Here are some of the most important steps to take when preparing your buildings, landscaping, and parking lots for winter!.
1. Plan Ahead for Snow and Ice Removal
Winter storms can come out of nowhere, and the first snow of the year is not the time to decide what you’re going to do about it. Keep in mind that:
- Lining up a reliable snow removal company for your parking lots well in advance is one of the most important things you can do to keep your business safe and convenient for your customers and employees.
- You need to be sure the company you choose has a good reputation for being thorough and reliable.
- Your company should also provide salting, sanding, or other ice removal services for your commercial office space.
- It should charge reasonable fees that fit into your budget.
Selecting a snow removal service that operates 24/7 can help you avoid having to open late to handle snow and ice if there is one in your area.
2. Check Your Plumbing and Caulking to Prevent Leaks and Drafts
Minor drafts and pipe leaks can easily go unnoticed on your commercial real estate during the summer months, but they can wreak havoc on the functionality of your property during the winter. Proactively checking over your Washington DC commercial property (or having this done by a professional before the weather turns colder) can help prevent:
- Frozen pipes
- Broken pipes
- Wasted heat
- Other issues
Taking care of this type of thing weeks down the road can be far more costly to repair or interrupt the daily operations of your business or office building.
3. Have Your Roof Inspected
Large amounts of heavy snow that accumulate on your commercial building throughout the winter can put your roof at risk of leaking or even caving in. Having your roof professionally inspected in the fall gives you an opportunity to make any necessary repairs in advance of any significant snow to minimize your risk of damage — to your roof and the interior of your commercial property. Having the snow on your roof cleared if you notice unusually high accumulation can also help avoid damage.
4. Clean Your Gutters, Drains, and Sewer Drains
Leaves and other debris have a tendency to accumulate in your gutters, drains, and sewer drains during the fall. This debris can lead to clogged gutters and drains, which should be cleared before winter to minimize water and ice buildup inside them and on your roof that can damage your building. Again, having these areas cleaned in advance is a much less costly investment than having to clean up excessive water damage on your properties later on.
5. Shut Down Your Office Irrigation Systems
Although you won’t need to water your grass and other plants during the winter, letting water sit in your irrigation system throughout the winter can cause it to not work properly in the spring. Making sure your irrigation system is fully drained and completely shut down can help you ensure that it is in good condition and ready to use as soon as you are ready to begin watering your grass, planting flowers, and designing other elements of your commercial property’s landscaping next spring.
6. Winterize Your Landscape to Protect Your Real Estate Investment
Chances are, you have invested a significant amount of time and money into the landscaping of your commercial real estate. Cover or bring indoors any:
- Outdoor décor
- Other items
Do this before winter to prevent damage and the possibility of having to buy new landscaping items next year. Giving any permanent plants you may have a thorough soaking, adding mulch, and applying Wilt Stop or another protective coat may also help them survive the winter.
7. Make Sure Your Fire Prevention Equipment is Working
Although your risk of fire may be somewhat lower during the winter, colder weather can prevent your fire extinguishers, hydrants, and other equipment from working properly. Making sure these items are fully functional in the fall can help you find and fix any issues before winter. Ensuring that they do not get buried in the snow can help keep them from freezing or being difficult to find if you need them.
8. Have a Contingency Plan
The uncertainties of 2020 make having a contingency plan for caring for your commercial real estate this winter more important than ever. The possibility of shutdowns, quarantined staff members, and other irregularities have the potential to leave your regular snow removal company — or even your own business — out of commission for several weeks with little advance notice, and having a backup plan for keeping your parking lots clean and preventing frozen pipes or other damage to your building is a must.
Taking steps to get your Washington DC area commercial property ready before the first snowstorm of the year can significantly improve the experience of your customers when visiting your business and help you avoid having to make unexpected costly repairs.
At Limitless Paving & Concrete, we are here to help you keep your parking lots, sidewalks, and other elements of your commercial property safe and functional throughout the winter. Contact us today to speak with an expert about any questions you may have about the most effective strategies for winterizing your commercial property!