Posted on: 08 January 2021
COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption to many businesses around the country, who have had to either furlough employees, or have them working from home.
This had led to many commercial properties becoming unoccupied for several months at a time, and whilst the end of the pandemic is in sight with the vaccine becoming available, businesses will still have unoccupied premises during the winter months, where the cold can cause damage to property if left unchecked.
We have previously given some general guidance on the best ways to look after unoccupied commercial property, but now we’re taking a look at how you can mitigate the risks of unoccupied property during the colder months.
Our tips for protecting unoccupied property during winter
1. Check boilers, piping and roofing
Damage to property in the winter will usually be caused by moisture or damp brought by the lower temperatures.
Your boilers, piping and roofing are all vital in keeping warmth in the building, and keeping the frost, moisture and damp at bay, so have them checked and serviced regularly as a first line of defence against damage caused by the cold.
We have previously provided some guidance on how to stop your pipes from bursting on your premises, which is particularly important given the current freezing temperatures.
2. Bleed radiators
Radiators are also a source of heat that can keep the effects of cold at bay, but need some servicing from time to time to keep them running at optimum capacity.
One of the best ways of keeping radiators working properly is to bleed them, which is where you can release any air bubbles that may be hindering the circulation of heat.
3. Keep an eye on the weather
Weather forecasts can give you warning if there is any extreme cold expected.
The Met Office is the UK’s weather service and can provide accurate insights, but you can also check apps or services from other providers.
4. Make visits to your premises
COVID-19 guidance has always been that you should work from home where possible, but you may travel for work purposes, so you are allowed to visit your work premises to check everything is ok.
Even just a check once a week on your security systems, heating and piping can help you look out for damage that may be caused by the cold weather.
5. Protecting the premises
Because of COVID-19, people should not be visiting your site, but if someone has an accident whilst on your site, you could be liable for a claim.
Keep paths clear from snow or ice, and distribute grit to ensure that the surface has some traction to prevent slips.
Snow, ice, hail or rain can also cause damage to your roofing, which could come loose and fall on someone who is on your site, again leaving you open to a claim.
Carrying out the inspections that we mentioned earlier will allow you to spot whether there are signs of winter damage to your property and avoid these kinds of claims.
Business insurance with Premierline
Getting the right business insurance for your business can seem like a daunting task, with the amount of options available for the huge variety of businesses in the UK.
We are a specialist insurance broker with experience of arranging insurance for a range of businesses. We work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurance companies and train our staff to be insurance experts, so we can help find the perfect insurance cover for your business. Get in touch today for a quote, and let us sort the rest.
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