CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

Don’t Be Out in the Cold — Winterizing Your Adventure Sports Business

Winterizing your adventure sport's building

Fall is a great time to start thinking about preparing your building for winter weather. Nature is unpredictable, so don’t wait. It’s “snow” joke to ensure that your property can survive the harshest season. Fortunately, simple inspections and improvements to your commercial property can prevent costly winter-related insurance claims.

Tips to Prepare Your Outfitter's Property for Winter Weather

Assessing Plumbing Vulnerabilities

Burst pipes are a common culprit of winter property damage. During frigid temperatures, exposed plumbing can freeze and rupture. Fissured pipes will cause water to flood your building and damage ceilings, walls, wiring and other structural areas. Additionally, excessive moisture can promote mold growth.

If you have a freeze-prevention monitoring system, verify it’s in good working order and will notify you when temperatures are low enough to freeze pipes. Examine your building for foundational holes and wall, window and door cracks. Seal and repair these openings to prevent frigid air from entering. Also consider insulating plumbing for an additional layer of protection.

All exterior piping should be closed off and drained at the beginning of the winter season. Contract a plumber to install shut-off valves on exterior faucets. Schedule a licensed fire-protection company to routinely inspect and maintain your sprinkler system.

Understanding Ice & Snow Concerns

If you operate a winter sport business, you know that snow and ice can go from fun to danger in a split second. Don’t think twice about securing a reliable, professional contractor to be on call for parking lots and sidewalk snow removal. Designate an employee who can assess your property to determine necessary snow/ice removal and when conditions are safe for staff and customers. It’s dangerous to let your guests slide around in parking lots or slip on sidewalks as they walk into your operation.

Schedule a structural engineer to verify your roof’s snow threshold. This will allow you to assess when the snow weight could potentially cause damage. Consider a snow removal contractor for your roof as ice and snow can place enormous amounts of weight on your structure.

Guttering Exposures

Inspect your gutters and drains for potential damage. Verify they’re secure to the building and free from debris. When snow and ice cannot drain off your roof, it will freeze and cause roofing problems and subsequent interior damage. Evaluate your gutters and downspouts for water backup.

Finding Alternate Power Options

Generators can help your business quickly recover from a snow or ice storm and can keep your business operating even during a power outage. They can also maintain building temperatures above freezing to help keep pipes from bursting. If you do not possess a backup generator, now is the time to purchase one and make sure it can supply the power needed to remain operational. Evaluate whether a portable or permanent generator would provide your business with cost-effective benefits while lowering exposures.

Landscaping Issues

Inspect all vegetation near your building and trim any bushes or trees that are too close. Iced or snow-filled branches can cause damage to your windows, building or roofing. Trim tree branches that are close to power lines to avoid a power outage and business interruption. Locate your irrigation system’s heads and shut off and drain the system.

HVAC Problems

While your guests may be in it for the chills, it’s important to schedule preventive maintenance to your HVAC system to verify it works efficiently. This will allow for any necessary repairs before temperatures drop. Establish a service agreement with a licensed repair company that’s available for emergency calls.

Upgrading Internal Systems to Avoid Costly Repairs

Before damages become costly claims, consider the following upgrades for your property:

  • A monitoring system to provide notifications when building temperatures drop below a pre-determined minimum
  • An automatic excess flow valve on the main, incoming domestic water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve
  • Wireless sensors to check for leaks near water sources (e.g., water tanks, commercial appliances)
  • UL-approved gas or electric heaters to warm rooms that house sprinkler control valves and fire pumps
  • Surge protectors to shield valuable computer equipment
  • Snow guards or snow cleats to prevent snow from sliding on a steep slope roof
  • High-quality self-regulating heating cables
  • Moisture barrier to the roof deck along the eaves to prevent water intrusion caused by ice dams

Window & Door Replacement

Older, single-pane windows offer low thermal resistance. Install double or triple-pane windows with a high thermal resistance (R-value) and thermal break. The R-value tells you how well a system can resist the transfer of heat; the higher the value, the better that system performs. A thermal break is insulation built within the frame of the window to reduce thermal transfer. Along with your windows, install exterior and roll-up doors that provide a high R-value. Replace any windows or doors that are showing signs of age to avoid water damage.

Freeze The Day With CBIZ Adventure Sports Insurance

Don’t wait until "Old Man Winter" weather is knocking at your door to  prepare your business  for ice, snow and cold. Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding damage and other risks at your building. To learn more about protecting your business with comprehensive insurance coverage,  click here  to receive a free quote from CBIZ Adventure Sports Insurance!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of adventure sports businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a policy coverage to meet the needs for those in the recreation and outfitting industries. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.