expensive winter storm damage

The Most Expensive Damages to Businesses in Winter

It’s no secret that winter weather can cause extreme damage to businesses in winter. This is especially true for businesses in areas that are prone to intense winters. There are many causes of business damage a bad winter can cause: 

  • Flood damage
  • Mold damage
  • Burst pipes or overflows
  • Structural damage

Regardless of what type of damage it causes, it can end up being very costly. Did you know that winter storms caused $1 billion in insured losses in 2016? That is not a small number to ignore when maintaining a business building. You don’t want to interrupt business practices and work due to property issues. 

With a little work you can avoid hefty insurance claims and keep your property safe throughout the harsh weather. Below are the most expensive types of winter storm damage to businesses. Let’s see how we can prepare for them. 

Snow build up on a business' roof causing it to collapse.
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Wind Damage to Businesses in Winter

Wind damage can be detrimental to a business building. An intense wind can blow a tree over into a building or throw debris through a window. While you cannot control the weather, you can maintain the property for the best outcomes. Keep the landscaping around your building clean. Trim or toss loose and weak branches on a regular basis to avoid wind damage. Store all loose items in your outdoor areas such as patio furniture or signage. Clearing the area will help avoid a damaged area around your building. 

Hail can Lead to Costly Winter Business Claims

Hail is one of the toughest weather factors to prepare for as it is so unpredictable. It’s tough to protect against hail as it wreaks havoc on its own. In 2014 State Farm had $2.4 billion in damages caused by hail and wind alone. The best way to prepare for hail is to repair and maintain your building. You want to get rid of any  loose materials, such as shingles or siding. You may also want to consider installing hail resistant shingles. 

Water pipes bursting and freezing in a winter storm.

Frozen Pipes Lead to Business Winter Damage

Frozen pipes are every building owner’s worst nightmare. A frozen pipe can lead to the most serious winter business claims. When pipes get too cold the water inside freezes and then expands, bursting the pipes. A burst pipe then leads to water loss and damage. Unfortunately, freezing pipes account for 18 percent of all water damage claims. The resulting damage of a burst pipe can lead to many different things: 

  • Flooding
  • Ceiling collapse
  • Plumbing problems
  • Mold or mildew

 The best way to fight frozen pipes is by keeping your building above 65 degrees. It’s also a good idea to drain and disconnect all hoses and sprinkler supply lines after summer. It is especially critical to know where your water is turned on and off so you can access it if a pipe does burst.

Snow Causes Winter Business Damage

Damages to businesses in winter may be driven by heavy or intense snow. Did you know that snow heavier than one to two feet can crush a roof or cause falling tree branches? Those are two things you don’t want to deal with when temperatures drop. If a roof falls in you can end up with wood floor water damage and a lengthy restoration process. Inspect your roof for any potential areas that need repair before the winter season. This will decrease the chances of heavy snow falling in. Also, consider investing in a roof rake to rid of the snow after a heavy downfall.

Ice damage 

Freezing temperatures in winter can create icicles and dangerous ice patches. If water freezes and clogs gutters then ice dams will develop and prevent proper runoff. This then causes a water buildup that may seep into the building’s roof and ceiling. To prevent these dams seal up any gaps that may allow warm air to leak into the highest point of the building. Besides protecting your building, you need to keep your employees and customers safe. Keep your walkways and parking lots free of icy patches.. Use commercial grade salt to help any ice melt quickly in these areas.

If you haven’t considered the potential winter storm damage, now is the time. With the proper maintenance, you can avoid foundation damage.

Earth Development can help you with it. We are a leading provider of professional commercial snow removal and other services and timely preparation for winter can keep your business or property intact!

For more information, to get a free quote, or to speak to one of our friendly team members, don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can get a quote online, or give us a call!