The weather outside may start looking a little frightful. Luckily, the United Methodist Insurance Program has developed a checklist to help you prepare for winter weather. Check the following areas of your property to make sure you are prepared for the winter season:
Heating System Check
You may remember the last time your church’s furnace was turned on. But what about the last time it was serviced? It is important that your heating system functions properly and efficiently. If systems are not maintained, the risk of fire and release of carbon monoxide and other gases increases. Contact a local HVAC professional and have them inspect your system for repairs and maintenance needs.
Pipes, Gutters and Drainage
Don’t let a busted pipe disrupt the flow of service or cause excess damage. Examine and take the necessary action to prevent frozen or burst pipes. Verify that all drains flow and inspect drains for debris that could clog the pipes during the cold months. It may be necessary to get professional help to remove dangerous accumulations or repair damaged or blocked drainage systems. Also, gutters should be clear of debris and free-flowing to avoid backup of water and the creation of ice dams which can direct melting water into the building.
Snow white rooftops are beautiful and could be gorgeous on your social media. However, too much snow on your property’s roof could become a problem. Accumulation of snow or ice on the roof can stress the structure and cause damage to shingles, gutters, downspouts, and flashing. Also, melting snow or ice coming from the roof could become dangerous for your ministry visitors. Periodically examine the roof and the amount of snow on the roof. If necessary, call a local expert to remove snow to relieve pressure and reduce risk.
Make sure every visitor can enter the church with joy and love in their heart and not pain from a slip or fall. Inspect all walkways, entrances, exits, and parking areas for ice or snow accumulations. Make sure handrails and guardrails for ramps are free from ice. Minimize the risk of your visitors becoming injured on the way to your ministry’s event. Be sure to shovel snow away and use salt for any potentially icy walkways.
Windows and Doors
Keep the heat in and save your ministry money on your utility bill. Inspect the windows and doors of your facility. Weatherizing your windows and doors will help your church regulate temperatures, extend the life and health of your HVAC system, and continue your ministry's efforts to be good stewards of the resources you have been blessed with by God.