Tips to Help Prepare Your Property

January 31, 2023  A dangerous ice event is coming. Sleet, ice, bitterly cold temperatures, and gusting winds are expected to affect a large swath of the U.S. throughout the week, with an emphasis on west-central Texas to the Tennessee and Lower Ohio Valleys, the Mid South, Plains, and Intermountain West.

Weather like this causes pipes to burst, creates dangerous sidewalks and lots, knocks out power for days or weeks, and causes property damage. 

Here are some ways to help minimize damage and to prepare - and we'll be here if you do need to file a claim: 

  • Turn up the heat to above 55 degrees. Check the thermostat in all rooms to ensure the setting.
  • Prop open room doors and cabinet doors beneath sinks to keep heat circulating throughout the building.
  • Let faucets drip to keep water moving inside pipes.
  • Locate your water supply valves. If a pipe bursts, time is critical. Know where valves are located for all buildings. Keep the tools to close the valves nearby. Be sure to include areas with baptisteries, laundry rooms, and water heaters in your search.
  • Prep the generator. The goal is to maintain heat in the building, even if a big freeze takes down power lines.
  • Clear gutters of debris to allow melting snow to drain. Obstructions cause “ice dams” that block drainage and damage your roof. Check drains on flat roofs and remove leaves and other material.
  • Designate staff and/or volunteers in advance to clear sidewalks and parking lots of snow. Put snow shovels, salt, and entryway mats in easy-to-access locations.
  • Get to know your sprinkler system. Monitor your systems using a central station that provides early detection of a pipe failure. Make sure to maintain the temperature in the control rooms.
  • Move vehicles off the lot and away from trees. A concrete parking garage is best, if possible. If not, allow staff to take home vehicles to spread your risk of damage.

Finally, keep emergency numbers close. Create a list of numbers that includes your insurance agent, plumber, water restoration company, heating contractor, electrician, and utility companies.