It’s the beginning of October and the leaves are just starting to turn their colors. Many of us have Halloween, spice lattes, pumpkins and bon fires on our minds. While the nights are getting cooler, it still might be hard for most to think about what Mother Nature is about to bring us in just a few short months. But, it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for the occasions of snow and icy weather. As the weather in Missouri has shown us time and time again it can change quickly and without warning, making travel and safety conditions unpredictable.
One of the leading causes of business interruption is due to the effects of winter storms. Taking a proactive approach to prepare now and avoid repercussions later is one of the smarter actions to take while the weather is still comfortable to be in.
Here are some of the effects of winter and ice and what you can do to take action now to prevent these situations.
Because our weather can be rather unpredictable (50’s one day and 27 and snowing the next), snow and ice melt and refreeze again. As this happens the water will expand, causing damage and affecting your business. This can be especially true for irrigation systems. If there is any water left in the pipes over the winter, the freezing and refreezing of the water in there can cause them to burst.
Make sure you “winterize” your irrigation by draining all the water from the systems and
equipment. Ideally, you’ll want to have a professional come in and perform a compressed air blow-out to ensure all water has been removed. Also, the main irrigation valve should be shut off and protected with insulation to prevent freezing from occurring along with any above ground piping. If your system is on a set schedule and you want to keep your programmed settings for next year, shut down the controller (timer) and turn it to “rain mode”. This shuts off the signals to the valves so they will not activate.
Ice on Branches
32 degrees mixed with a little bit of rain is all it takes for ice to form not just on your sidewalks and parking lots, but on your trees as well. Sure, ice on trees can make for a picturesque winter wonderland, but it can also be a nightmare for property owners. Heavy ice accumulation puts stress on branches causing them to sag and in some cases snap and fall. Depending on their location, this can either pull down on utility wires that disrupts electric and communication services or worse, cause injury.
To help avoid this scenarios, trim back, or prune, hazardous, dead or weak tree limbs. Pay special attention to those near power lines, sidewalks and parking pads.
It’s always ideal to be over-prepared rather than under-prepared. For sudden snow and ice storms, having a way to remove initial snow and ice is important. Ice affects everyone, including your snow removal company and their drivers. For sudden storms, they may be unable to get there right away. Having a snow shovel and some sand or de-icer on hand will help keep employees and visiting patrons safe. Though having de-icer products available for the exterior of your property is essential for safety, laying traction mats in areas of the interior of the building that are prone to slipping from tracked in snow and ice will also keep people safe.
In addition to preparing your business for winter weather, it’s also a good idea you are personally prepared. Assemble a survival kit you can throw in your trunk in the event of a sudden storm. This can include bottled water, a blanket, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, non-perishable food items and any other necessities that will help you wait out a storm.
At Bluegrass, we get updated weather alerts that help us monitor developing storms. We also provide you with a 24-hour snow hotline that allows us to be readily available to keep your property safe and free of snow and ice any time. Give us a call at 314-770-2828 or use our simple contact form to discuss your snow and ice management needs.