Although it may be painful to think ahead to blizzards and freezing temperatures during beautiful fall weather, for New York and New Jersey community associations, now is the time to winterize your building.
The low temperatures and heavy snows of winter can cause expensive damage to condo and co-op buildings and the best way for community associations to avoid large insurance claims is to prepare their building for winter weather, well in advance.
Here are 6 things every community association should do to prepare their building for winter weather:
1. Update your emergency plan for winter.
Your emergency plan should include procedures for snow, ice and cold weather. If you don’t have a property manager, be sure to appointment someone to monitor weather and initiate winter procedures and don’t forget to develop procedures for when you lose heat and/or electricity.
2. Determine which processes need continued building heat or electricity for safety.
Consider processes that are subject to solidification or runaway reactions and need prompt attention. You’ll want to address these areas first.
3. Identify equipment, processes, and piping that contains or uses water or other liquid subject to freezing.
Make sure to have a complete list and keep it handy since these will need to be drained promptly and thoroughly if heat or electricity is lost. Providing heat or locating the equipment in a heated enclosure (and/or providing anti-freeze) may be necessary as well.
4. Identify building areas that are unusually difficult to heat or that lose heat rapidly.
You’ll want to install thermometers for temperature monitoring during cold spells so that you can stay ahead of any potential issues.
5. Service the heating system before winter begins.
In addition to servicing the equipment, you’ll need to make sure that adequate supplies of fuel are on hand in case severe weather affects fuel delivery.
6. Inspect and maintain the building shell to minimize openings.
Fix windows and doors to close tightly. Caulk, insulate, and weather-strip doors. Close and seal dampers, louvers, and vents.
Conducting regular loss control and prevention could help your community association prevent losses, which is a factor that affects your community association insurance premiums.
Have questions about insuring your building? Talk to us. We have been building customized insurance plans for community associations in New York and New Jersey for over 25 years. Our expertise, loss control, and ability to deliver insurance products through a vast array of insurance carriers enable us to provide comprehensive coverage, often at significant savings.