IT'S been a tough time for business in 2020 as the effects of the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn have hit hard. Now, cold weather is on the way, causing more potential problems for business.

To avoid unnecessary insurance claims, we advise carrying out a few maintenance checks. While regular maintenance is essential for all buildings, it’s particularly important in the case of vacant or empty buildings.


Make sure guttering and drains are regularly maintained. Any blockages can cause serious problems for your drainage and sewer system, potentially causing damp problems inside and out or water entering the roof space.


Check roofing regularly and ensure it is in good condition, if you have flat roofing, ensure it is professionally inspected and renewed, if necessary.


Large trees close to your premises should be professionally maintained with loose branches removed to prevent damage in high winds.

External areas

Check there are no areas where a heavy downpour could cause water to build up and flow towards your premises.

Outdoor lighting

Always test bulbs are working. If you don’t have outdoor lights, think about having them installed to provide useful lighting during dark mornings and evenings, and help to deter thieves.

Fire alarms

Check all smoke alarms are working. This should be done regularly throughout the year, but it’s particularly important if there are wood burners or open fires in the premises.

Other tips:

Know where the stopcock is located so if pipes freeze and potentially burst, the water can be turned off, preventing damage to your property.

Keep an eye on weather warnings and regularly check reports from the Met Office.

If you are flooded, don’t enter the property until you are certain the electricity has been turned off, and don’t use any electrical items.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. Now is the time to carry out basic property maintenance checks, ensuring your premises are ready for the winter.

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