Winter has arrived, and as we dip into more frigid temperatures, we need to be on the lookout for new hazards, such as:
- freezing and subsequent bursting of pipes;
- ice damming, which causes blocked eaves and downspouts, leading to water intrusion and structural damage;
- slip and fall injuries on icy walkways;
- sewer backups due to underutilized and frozen systems; and
- vandalism and theft in less-frequently-attended or closed buildings.
This year is unique with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our members have been forced to close the doors to many of their buildings. This has resulted in an influx of vacant and unused buildings across Alberta. Unfortunately, winter is very unforgiving and the potential for a loss remains, even when a building is not in use. In fact, when a loss occurs in a vacant building, the damages are often more extensive because it usually takes longer for it to be discovered.
Regularly visiting each of your properties is a great solution to reduce the frequency and severity of winter hazard losses. We recommend:
- inspecting each building every 24 to 48 hours;
- paying extra attention to any signs of water damage on the ceiling, walls, or floors;
- ensuring all walkways are properly cleared of ice and snow; and
- keeping an eye out for signs that would suggest a vandalism or theft event occurred.
If you have any questions about preventing loss or think you may have a claim, call our team at 310-AUMA.