Helpful Tips to Prepare for a Wetter than Normal Winter Season

You may have already heard the predictions for a strong El Nino winter. While there are no absolutes in weather, typically this can mean an above-average level of precipitation in the West and Southwest, extending up through the South into the Mid-Atlantic area. By taking the following steps, you can better prepare for a wetter than normal season:
Conduct Safe Roof Inspections
Never place yourself or others at risk to access a roof. For roofs that are difficult to access, work with a qualified contractor to check the following:
Is the roof surface in good condition?
• Common examples of surface problems include dry, cracked or missing roofing material, cracked or loose roof seams, blisters or low spots. Have these repaired to reduce the chance of interior water damage.
Are roof drains, gutters and downspouts in good condition?
• Common examples of visible drain problems include plugged roof strainers, obstructions that block the flow of water to drains and debris in gutters. Make sure the roof surface is clear of any debris. It can, and will, float toward the drain in a storm. Other problems that may not be easily visible (and should be investigated) include clogged drain pipes or downspouts. Failure to provide roof drainage can increase the chance of water damage to the building, or under extreme cases, lead to a roof collapse.
Prepare for Heavy Winds
With winter storms, heavier winds are possible. To limit potential damage, follow these steps:
• Secure roof-mounted equipment.
• Secure yard equipment or any yard storage. Consider moving them inside in advance of any storms.
• Heavy winds can move these items.
Review These Important Areas
Be sure to take these additional actions to protect your property:
• See if drains in low spots are operational and clear from obstructions. This should include loading dock areas that often have blocked drains.
• Check to make sure sump pumps are operational and drains are clear from obstructions. Look for materials susceptible to water damage that have been moved into below-grade areas.
• Consider using pallets or skids to elevate stock that could be damaged by rising waters. Raising materials even a few inches above the floor can protect product from minor flooding.
• Update your business continuity plan. If your building is not accessible, can you still conduct business?

Tips courtesy of CNA Insurance Company.

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