Begin an outside inspection of your buildings gutters before winter settles in.
With freezing temperatures just around the corner, business owners should be doing an outside inspection of their buildings gutters. There is an expectation of a patrons’ safety when they are on your premises. A build up of ice and snow could cause an accident and leave you open to a lawsuit.
Why Gutters Should Be Cleaned
The first step you should take is to have a professional gutter company clean them out entirely. And build up of debris in the troughs or downspouts will cause the gutters to be ineffective at keeping your building safe from water damage. If water is unable to flow freely through the gutter it will sit and then freeze as the temperatures drop. The ice that forms is significantly heavier than water and can cause the gutters to pull away from the building. They could fall off unexpectedly and hit someone below.
During the cleaning have the gutter company check for any leaks. The purpose of gutters is to direct water away from your business. If it is leaking down onto a walkway, it will turn into ice once the temperature is close to freezing. A customer may not notice this small ice patch and slip and fall on it leaving you responsible to pay for the cost of their medical care. See to it that any leaking portions of your gutter are replaced as soon as possible.
Maintaining Gutter Safety During Storms
Now that you have effectively maintained your gutters in preparation of winter you need to know what to do during storms. During a heavy snow storm, ice will build up as the temperature rises above freezing in the day and then drops again at night. When there is a significant amount of snow on your roof and in the gutters use a long snow remover to pull it to the ground. If you notice that a build-up of ice has begun ask your gutter company to come out and apply an ice melter and watch your downspouts to make sure that the melted ice is running freely out of them. Heavy winds from a storm could have blown more debris into your troughs and you may need to have another quick clean performed. If you allow a build-up of snow to stay on your roof for too long you put yourself at risk for an ice dam. This is a large block of ice that forms from the constant melting and refreezing of the snow. As the water flows out of the gutters, large icicles will form that can fall off and injure someone below.
Avoiding a lawsuit is not the only reason why a business owner should be aware of their gutter system. Ice that builds up in the gutters grows upward and can go underneath your buildings’ roof shingles causing damage to the shingles, roofing paper and wood. This type of damage will be costly to repair and probably not covered by your insurance company since it will most likely be deemed a maintenance issue.
Protecting Your Customers’ Safety
Your buildings gutter system is an integral part of protecting not just the structure, but the safety of your customers. Do not take any chances with do it yourself maintenance or repairs. Call upon the help of Scott-Lee Guttering Company at (314) 756-9440 to ensure that you survive the winter free of lawsuits and property damage.