5 Winter Hazards You Should Prepare For
The winter months are full of weather hazards and other changes that you may not be prepared for. Things like burst pipes and fires can wreak havoc on homes and businesses. You should prepare for winter hazards, but there is still a chance of disaster striking. You need a plan in place for those emergency situations and ServiceMaster is here to help. Here are five hazards you need to be on the lookout for this winter:
We have all heard horror stories about pipes bursting in the winter, or maybe even experienced it ourselves. It is one of the most common winter hazards for both homes and commercial buildings. When the temperature drops below freezing, there’s a greater chance of the water pipes freezing. When this happens, they can burst and cause flooding when temperatures rise again. Water damage and mold can result, which means restoration will probably be necessary for your building. While the best solution is to prevent frozen pipes all together, we know that it’s not always possible and water damage restoration services may be needed.
Winter is “fire season” for restoration companies because of an increase in fire hazards. With an increased use of heating elements, and extensive use of Christmas lights, comes an increased number of fires, and therefore, an increased number of fire restoration requests. When you check your home for clear chimneys and vents and open areas around any heating element, make sure the same goes for your business, as well. Turn off your Christmas tree lights when you leave home or go to sleep. Costs from fire damage can add up quickly, not only because of the smoke and fire damage restoration needed, but also potential water restoration on top of that from putting out the fire.
Flu season and the coronavirus
Even with the developments of a vaccine for COVID-19, for the foreseeable future we still have to be extra cautious about spreading viruses and illnesses like COVID-19 around our business facilities. In fact, the threat is increased even more during the winter because of the addition of flu season and colder weather keeping us inside. Now is the time to consider a regular commercial cleaning service to ensure a routine of cleaning and disinfecting of your facilities to maintain safe and healthy workplaces.
If you have a positive case of coronavirus in the workplace, here is what to do next.
Ice dams on roofs
Ice dams – ridges of ice that form at the edges of roofs – can inhibit melting snow from draining properly. If preventive measures aren’t taken, these dams can cause water and mold damage in your building. Ice dams happen most often when temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for a few days with several inches of snow on the roof. This is not as common in the Southeast as it is in colder climates, but the right winter conditions of deep freezing and daytime melting can bring this hazard anywhere,. In the event of ice dams, building restoration may be needed to clean up after water and limit potential for mold damage.
Mold is normally not considered a winter hazard (generally more spring and summer), but it is this year because of all the facilities that have been closed up during the pandemic. Many buildings were closed during the warm months and the HVAC systems were either turned off or turned down to save energy, but at the expense of high humidity levels lingering in those facilities. Mold is a particularly dangerous hazard because you may not know it is there and it can lead to respiratory and other problems for employees. Quickly mitigating water damages and maintaining proper environmental humidity conditions can put a stop to mold before it spreads, though in bad cases, mold remediation services may be necessary.
Each of these hazards could lead to your facility needing deep cleaning, regular commercial cleaning, or restoration from professionals like ServiceMaster. We know how stressful maintaining your building can be, so we are here to help. When disaster strikes, our team is ready to help get you back to business as usual as quickly as possible.
The best way to handle an emergency situation any time of year, but especially during the busy winter months, is with an emergency response plan. Having a plan in place not only makes you a top priority for our team at ServiceMaster, but gives us all the information we need to minimize damage and business downtime.
Start your emergency response plan today and call ServiceMaster if a winter hazard causes damage to your building.