Property expert warns snowfall could be causing further trouble to businesses

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Heavy snowfall across parts of the country could be causing lasting damage to buildings left empty because of lockdown, warns property expert.

Jeremy Harrison, managing director at MSL Property Care Services, said: “Ordinarily where a building is occupied, the heating and regular use of pipes would help to ensure damage from extreme cold weather is mitigated or reduced, however as many businesses have had to close, the empty buildings could be subject to a range of damages from the snowfall.”

He continues “It’s imperative businesses are taking steps to prevent damage to their buildings which could result in lasting closures and repairs once lockdown is over.”

Top considerations to protect your building from snow:

  • Water Systems
    Cold weather can lead to pipes freezing and bursting which can in turn affect water supply and cause lasting damage. To protect your building, check all pipes for any damages or cracks and consider insulating external pipes to reduce the risk of freezing.
  • Drains
    Leaves and other debris which may have gathered in drains and gutters can ice over causing blockages to drains and pipes. It’s important to remove this debris to keep the risks to a minimum.
  • The Roof

Adverse weather, such as heavy snow or rainfall, can cause the roof to deteriorate and weaken, leading to issues internally. Any cracks or leaks in the roof should be repaired immediately, and debris should be removed.

Roofing checks and repairs should only be carried out by experienced and qualified personnel.

  • Windows and Doors
    Inspect for any gaps or cracks in windows and doors, and repair with weather stripping or caulking where appropriate. If left, these cracks can increase in size as ice freezes and melts and will result in further damage and heating inefficiencies when the property is occupied again.
  • Landscaping
    If there are trees surrounding the property, it’s important they are properly pruned. Harsh weather can lead to trees falling or branches breaking, leading to external damage and health and safety hazards.

For further information on how to protect your property from cold weather and snow, MSL has created a useful winter weather guide.