The forecast is clear this week, which will give us a break from the snow and rain. If you did not prepare for winter in advance of these recent storms, take this time to prepare for the rest of winter with these steps.
1. Guard against freezing pipes by keeping your homes and businesses properly heated. You should know where your water turn-off valve is in case of a pipe burst. Cold temperatures in moist areas can cause water to build up on metals, dampen textiles and cause mold to grow on papers. Bursting pipes that flood exacerbate the moisture problems which may not have a solution.
2. Track and position valuables and inventory to avoid water damage. Boxes, furniture and glass should be placed at least 6 inches off the ground in case of a pipe burst. If you are in a flood zone, you may want to move the most valuable items to another location. I concise inventory with photos of the current condition of the items should be stored in a safe place in case of an insurance damage claim.
3. Maintain the structural integrity of buildings by continually removing ice and snow. The weight and imbalance caused by freezing and thawing can compromise rafters, beams and posts, which may not be evident until a wall, ceiling or roof collapse or a water leak begins.
4. Keep walkways clear of ice and snow at your home and business. Remove the snow and spread ice melt as soon as practical. Keep a log of your activity in case there is a lawsuit. You don't want to slip and fall when carrying treasures into your home or have the customer hurt taking his new find to his car.
There is still time to protect your antiques, collectibles, furnishings and business assets against damage during this winter season. Take care to avoid damage or expensive repair costs.