It’s almost time for a steamy mug of hot cocoa to replace the ice cold cup of sweet tea. Make your ministry’s facilities as cozy and comfortable as your home. Knowing what to do, when you do it, and how to get it done can give you peace of mind, especially during an extended period of vacancy.
Plan Ahead Schedule time for your facilities management team to develop and implement a plan to winterize your buildings. Be sure you include a detailed plan for snow and ice removal. Keep the contact information for local snow removal contractors handy for large accumulations and parking lot care. Keep shovels, ice melting products, and gloves ready for your employees or volunteers. Planning is the first step to keeping the heat in and the cold out.
KEEP IN THE HEAT
Clean and Service Your Furnace
Contact an HVAC professional to have your system serviced before the winter comes. Replace air filters as recommended by the label or heating professionals. You may notice an odor during the first couple of days of furnace use; that’s normal. If the smell lasts for an extended time contact a professional to look at your heating system. Also, cleaning air-ducts can help keep potentially flammable debris out of harm’s way.
Insulate. Insulate. Insulate. Keeping the heat in is the goal. Insulate your facility as best as you can to help you achieve that goal. Keep all insulation at least 3 inches away from light fixtures. A licensed contractor could help you understand and discover which areas of your facility could use some extra attention. Also, wrapping an exposed pipe in insulation will help prevent your pipes from bursting and causing costly repairs.
Seal Windows and Doors Air leaks and drafts from windows and doors are another common source of warm air escaping your facility. Properly securing and sealing all exterior windows and doors will also help reduce your utility bills. Take notes and schedule maintenance on any seal that may need extra attention.
Check Your Emergency Alert Resources Staying alert will help you stay protected. Be sure you have the adequate number of detectors to cover your facility. Also, schedule monthly detector checks and replace them every 10 years. Contact your local fire department for help with this subject.
KEEP THE COLD OUT
Help Prevent Exterior Leaks Taking care of your exterior can help insulate your interior. Snow, sleet, ice and heavy rains can cause gutters and downspouts to leak or break. Clean your gutters of debris and properly secure any loose sections. Keeping melting snow or ice away from your building can help prevent cracks in seals or foundation. Also, turn off any exterior faucets and disconnect hoses to help prevent frozen water expanding and causing damage.
Check Your Roof for Damage Don’t forget about your roof when you check your gutters. If there are any visible areas in need of repair, schedule a licensed contractor to perform repairs before the winter. A compromised roof can cause water damage and reduces the energy efficiency of your building. Heat rises and holes in a roof will cause your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature within the building.
Prepare Your Landscaping Trimming your bushes and shrubs will help your beautiful landscaping endure the cold of winter. Also, collect and dispose all fallen leaves and limbs to prevent water or ice accumulation. Examine your walkways and parking lot for holes and cracks that should be filled. Following product instructions for ice melting solutions will help extend the life of your walking surfaces.
Your proactiveness today can help save your time, anxiety, and resources tomorrow. UMIP’s exclusive agency, Suracy Faith, can help your ministry plan, protect and restore your ministry through property and casualty coverage. Contact us today to get more information and request a quote.