Spring Safety Series: Outdoor maintenance
As the weather warms up, it is time to take stock of your property and correct any potential safety hazards that have emerged over the winter. Church Mutual has created a list of projects you should consider this spring to make sure your building and grounds are safe.
- Inspect your roof. Winter can be hard on a roof, and if you live in an area that experiences significant amounts of snow and ice, it can be downright brutal. Check your roof for:
- Areas where water is pooling
- Loose seams
- Missing roof materials, such as loose shingles
- Holes, cracks, leaks, splits or punctures
- Excess mold or moss growth, which can trap moisture and lead to damage down the road
Because of the dangers associated with climbing roofs, consider hiring a qualified, licensed professional to inspect your roof if you are not able to get a complete visual on it from the ground.
- Clean your downspouts and gutters. Over the past five or six months, your downspouts and gutters may have become clogged or dirty. Make sure they are draining properly and have not been damaged over the winter months. Otherwise, they may overflow when it rains and cause serious damage to your building. When cleaning gutters, practice ladder safety or consider hiring a professional. Direct downspouts away from sidewalks and other walking surfaces to lessen the risk of slips and falls.
- Check for pests. Rodents or stinging insects may have found a cozy home on your property. Take the time to look for holes or other hiding spots and, if necessary, consider spraying your property to deter them.
- Maintain trees and shrubs. There are a few reasons why you should trim back branches that overhang your building’s roof, as well as vegetation that surrounds your facility:
- Branches that brush against your roof or that fall during a storm could cause damage.
- Trees or branches near a window can provide easy access for a thief or vandal.
- If you live in an area prone to wildfires, trees near your building could pose a significant threat.
- Clean the exterior of your building. Not only does cleaning your building improve its aesthetic appearance, but it also can prevent rot and mold and keep materials from decaying. You can use high-pressure power washers yourself or consider hiring a professional cleaning company.
- Check your walkways and parking lots. The winter freeze/thaw cycle can wreak havoc on walking surfaces. Take a long walk around your property to look for broken or loose pavement and uneven surfaces. Have damaged areas repaired to lessen the risk of trips and falls.
Whether your building experienced significant damage over the winter or not, spring is a good time to review your insurance coverage and make sure you are ready for anything. Talk to your Church Mutual representative or visit churchmutual.com for more risk control information and resources.