Snow removal can be a physically and mentally demanding job. Proper planning and consistency can reduce the demands of this task. When the weather outside is frightful, make sure your ministry is prepared to clear a path for a delightful service.
Shovel light snow Dry snow, especially in extreme cold, tends to be lighter and easier to move. Shoveling your walkways will help your visitors have a clear path to entering your building. This will also decrease the amount of snow tracked inside as people enter and reduce the chances of someone slipping.
Pretreat key areas After shoveling, and before the next snowfall, place rock salt or melt ice in your walkways, stairs, and driveways. Snow will accumulate slower and, in some cases, melt upon hitting the ground helping you maintain clear paths to your facility. Be aware not to leave the rock salt on the surface for extended periods to reduce the number of repairs due to walkway cracking.
Be aware of debris on the ground Using machines, like snow blowers, can make removing any type of snow a breeze. Before you begin making your winter wonderland, be cautious of areas that have the potential for debris. Rocks, tree limbs, and other objects could cause damage to your snowblower or become projectiles from the chute. Also, be sure to point the chute away from your building and other people in case debris enters the machine.
Schedule snow removal One of the worst things you can do during a big snowstorm is to wait for the end of the storm to being snow removal. Instead, schedule times to shovel, snow blow, and plow every three to four hours, or as necessary. As the storm moves out of your area, you can increase the time between snow removal sessions.
Avoid placing snow near the foundation
While removing snow, take care not to place snow piles near the base of your building or important structures. As this snow melts, the water can negatively affect the structure's foundation. Also, the snow is shaded by the building and that reduces the amount of sunlight that hits the snow increasing the amount of time it will take for the snow to melt.
Shovel flat roofs
For easily accessible flat roofs, shoveling snow can reduce the potential for water accumulation and roof leaks. Be careful not to damage your roof covering and only perform these tasks when the weather conditions are appropriate. Heavy winds and low-visibility can create disastrous situations and should be avoided.
Shoveling snow isn’t the most glamourous task for your ministry, but it doesn’t have to be a backbreaker. Even with preventative measures, accidents happen.
When you are covered by UMIP, we will be there when you need us. Churches have unique needs. As a part of the denomination, we understand the unique needs of United Methodist churches and their operations, which is reflected in our coverage options. Your ministry deserves outstanding insurance and UMIP works for you each day to help protect your church’s people, property, and finances.
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This content has been prepared by United Methodist Insurance Company (UMI) for informational purposes only. No article or document may accurately contemplate all possible scenarios or church resources. As such, this information is meant to foster discussion by the individual church and its members to develop a plan tailored to its own circumstances. UMI is providing this information with no warranties or guarantees of any kind and it should not be viewed as legal, financial, or other professional advice. All liability is expressly disclaimed. Any claim examples described herein are general in nature, may or may not be based on actual claims, and are for informational purposes only. Any coverage available for a claim is determined from the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of any applicable policy, including any exclusions or deductibles. In the event of a conflict with the content herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.
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