Winter maintenance is a must to help keep your property in good shape and to help prevent slip and fall injuries. By performing annual winter maintenance on your building and/or home, you can help prevent repair bills, keep your property in good condition and limit your liability for slip and falls. You don’t need to live where it snows to go through an annual checklist of what to do to prepare for the colder months.
- Furnaces and boilers should be checked once a year, especially for commercial properties before the weather turns cold. It is easier to find and take care of any issues or problems before the busy season for furnace repairs.
- Before turning on your furnace, replace the filters.
- Every two years, your water heater should be flushed to help keep mineral deposits from building up. If your water heater is old, have it inspected to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
- If you have a fireplace, have it inspected to see if there is any build up that needs to be cleaned out.
- Once the leaves have fallen, clear out your gutters from debris. Clear gutters will allow rainwater and snowmelt to drain. Check gutters and drain spouts to ensure that there are no leaks and that the downspout is not allowing water to puddle near the foundation.
- Check the roof for any leaks or missing shingles and get them repaired before snow falls.
- Cover or store AC units to prepare for winter.
- Check window and door seals.
- Replace batteries in carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms, and smoke detectors. Test them at the same time to make sure they are working. Make it a habit to do this on schedule and limit the chances of having a battery go out and an alarm malfunction.
- Check trees on your property and remove any dead limbs or branches. Wind, snow and ice can break off dead or damaged branches and limbs.
- If you live in the snow, ensure that your pipes are insulated. This will help prevent frozen pipes. If you already have your pipes insulated, check to make sure that the insulation is in good condition still.
- Check handrails and steps to make sure they are sound. With wet, snow or ice on the ground, more people use handrails during this time and they need to be in good condition.
Wet and slippery conditions increase the chance of slip and fall incidents. If you are located where it snows, keep your walk shoveled and clear of snow. Use ice melting compound or ice to help keep walkway clear. Put rubber-backed mats and runners inside of all doorways for people to use when entering. Post signs to warn people that the floor might be slick. Lighting should be adequate so that entrances and exits are clearly lit.