'Tis the Season: How to Prepare your Church for Winter Weather

Believe it or not, there are 3 times as many winter-weather related claims than there are fire-related ones, according to Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
While the Southeast is perhaps known more for its blistering hot summers, winter weather can be particularly damaging. Don't believe us, just ask the Atlanta residents who were stranded in their cars for up to 14 hours during the winter storm of 2014! (I know. I was one of them!)

While we still have some time remaining before the truly frigid weather season hits us, let's take some steps to protect our churches.

"A little maintenance in the fall goes a long way in preventing cold-weather losses, or at least reducing their severity," says Tom Lichtenberger, senior manager of property claims for Brotherhood Mutual.

Specifically, churches should consider three key areas when preparing for freezing temperatures: roofs, pipes, and heating systems.


Roofs

Snow accumulation (or in the case of most of the Southeast - ice accumulation) can cause serious damage to gutters, downspouts, and drains. Make sure these are routinely cleared of debris to keep from building up.

Have your roof inspected regularly to make sure there are no cracks or damages that my leave your church open to greater damage, should there be a winter storm.

For more information on roof maintenance, click here.

Pipes

When freezing temperatures hit, it's important to keep the building warm to avoid freezing piepes. Burst pipes can be a very costly fix. Proper insulation is absolutely necessary, considering church buildings can go unused for days at a time.

In times of prolonged cold, it is recommended that someone check on buildings more frequently than usual to inspect for damages.


Heating Systems

Especially after prolonged periods of being shut down, heating systems need to be inspected before they need to be kicked into "high gear". In fact, Brotherhood Bell recommends that churches have a qualified contractor service all furnaces and related equipment in the fall.

Practice good stewardship and prepare your church property for winter. With proper precautions, you'll be in for a warm Christmas season!