Michiganders know that weather conditions can change fast, especially during the ups and downs of a long Midwestern winter. If you have not already prepared your property for freezing temperatures, you could be putting yourself at risk for expensive wintertime damage. Let’s dive into the steps for winterizing your property and how to create a game plan to cover yourself during unexpected power outages.
Have a snow removal plan
It may sound obvious, but make sure you have a contract set up with a snow removal company far in advance of the first snowfall. Look for a provider who will visit your property consistently, has a good reputation, and will spend extra time on ice removal as necessary. Even if your property is sitting vacant, routine clearing of the parking lot and driveways can help ensure that you or other maintenance crews can safely get inside in the event of a repair or emergency.
Take care of your pipes
Ensure that your property, vacant or occupied, is equipped with basic tools such as wrenches, compressors, extension cords, and flashlights. These can come in handy for prepping a vacant property for winter or handling an unexpected emergency in an occupied space.
If your commercial property is going to remain empty for the winter, to turn the water supply off and winterize your pipes by removing the excess water and pouring antifreeze down the drains. You can do it yourself or hire a plumber for help.
Change your furnace filter to ensure efficient heating and set your thermostat to 55.
Make a plan for unexpected power outages
If your commercial property is occupied with residential or commercial tenants, make sure they know how to reach you in the event of a power outage. You will need to know as soon as there is a power outage so you can step in to handle the situation. If your tenants pay their utilities directly to your service providers, make sure the company has a “leave on request” in place. If a tenant stops paying their bills or moves out unexpectedly, it will ensure that you don’t have unexpected frozen pipes.
If your property is vacant, set yourself up for success by having a generator ready to use. You may need power during an outage to blow out water lines, or to run a heater or other appliances. Note: Never run gas or other fuel powered generators or heaters indoors. Exhaust from these generators contain high levels of carbon monoxide, which can result in serious injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Check in after a big storm
After heavy snowfall, an ice storm or any other major weather event, pay a visit to your commercial property. Check for any broken pipes or leaking water, extra weight or stress on the roof from excess snow buildup, or dangerous ice build-up. Taking care of these problems quickly can save you time, money and hassle.
For additional guidance on winterizing your property, we recommend you reach out to and/or request service from licensed plumbing and HVAC professionals. You can also reach out to our team at NAI Mid-Michigan. We can answer any questions you have about winter preparation and can connect you with qualified professionals who can get the job done.
Contact us today to learn more.