All buildings are at risk for suffering damage during cold winter months. However, churches and other places of worship may be especially susceptible to winter weather issues. In many cases, the buildings aren’t in regular use seven days a week, and in some cases, the building’s structure may not support large amounts of snow or ice.
What can you do to prevent your church or religious structure from incurring damage during a winter storm, ice storm, or extreme cold snap?
Tips for Protecting Your Place of Worship
- Insulate your pipes. Perhaps the most common type of damage that occurs during bitterly cold months is burst pipes caused by frozen water. Avoid this costly event by keeping the heat on even when the church is empty, by insulating your pipes when possible, and by leaving the water running at a trickle during very cold periods.
- Remember your roof. Churches often have unique structures. While these structures can be beautiful, they may also not be designed to hold heavy snow or ice. Always maintain your roof and consider snow removal from the roof after a large storm.
- Be prepared for power loss. After a storm, you could lose power to your building for days. Could losing power damage your property? Refrigerated food may spoil and loss of heat could mean frozen pipes. Investing in a generator could pay off in the long run.
- Clean your gutters. Your insurance company may not cover any damage that is the result of neglected maintenance. If your clogged gutters freeze and cause water damage, you may have to pick up the bill.
- Check on your building daily. Some churches and outbuildings may go for days without someone checking up on them, especially after a cold snap or big storm. Because it is important to pinpoint problems immediately, make sure someone is checking up on your church during and after winter events.