As winter approaches, builders and contractors face unique challenges regarding construction sites. The cold temperatures, snow, and ice can put your project at risk. However, with the right planning and insurance, you can protect your investment and keep your construction site running smoothly. Let’s discuss essential winter preparations for construction sites, focusing on the importance of Builders Risk Insurance. 

wooden frame for a building in snow

Winterizing Your Construction Site 

Before the winter chill sets in, it’s essential to winterize your construction site to minimize potential risks and ensure the safety of your project. Here are some key steps to take: 

  1. Protecting Equipment: Cold temperatures can have a negative impact on machinery and equipment. Make sure to store them in a sheltered area or use weatherproof covers. It’s also a good idea to keep your equipment well-lubricated to prevent freezing. 
  1. Snow Removal Plan: Set up a snow removal plan to keep your site accessible. Regularly clear snow and ice from pathways, parking areas, and entrances. This not only ensures safety but also keeps your project on schedule. 
  1. Heating Systems: If your project requires on-site offices or trailers, ensure they have proper heating systems. These should be regularly maintained and inspected for safety. 
  1. Materials Storage: Store materials indoors or under a protective cover to prevent damage from moisture and freezing temperatures. This helps avoid costly material replacement. 
  1. Insulate Pipes: Insulate water and plumbing systems to prevent freezing and potential damage. Burst pipes can be a significant setback for any construction project. 

Builders Risk Insurance: Your Winter Safety Net 

While these winter preparation steps are crucial, unforeseen events can still happen. This is where Builders Risk Insurance comes into play. Builders Risk Insurance is specifically designed to protect construction projects from risks like theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters, including winter-related issues. 

Winter preparations are a crucial part of construction site management, and Builders Risk Insurance plays a significant role in safeguarding your project. By taking steps to protect your equipment, materials, and site, you can minimize risks. 

Bankers Insurance Group is here to provide the coverage you need to ensure a successful winter construction season. Get a quote today. Our team is ready to assist you in finding the perfect Builders Risk Insurance coverage for your needs. Stay safe this winter season! 

Read more: Recipient of 2022 5-star Construction Excellence Award from Insurance Business America Magazine

If you own a small business, you know a lot depends on things running smoothly. From OSHA safety recommendations to preparing for an emergency, we’ve got five winter safety tips to help you and your employees get through the cold winter months.

Winter Safety Tips When Working Outside

OSHA doesn’t have certain standards for working in the cold, but employers are obligated to train and educate their employees to prevent falls and severe injuries on worksites. Learn more about how to prepare for and respond to extreme weather here.

Think Of Your Employees and Customers

Snow, hail, it’s not easy getting around in this type of weather. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the winter weather forecast and ensure your employees are well equipped and know which roads to avoid. Also, make sure to shovel the entrance and exits and salt the sidewalks that lead to your building. This can help prevent slips and falls and keep business operations running smoothly.

Communication Is Key

If the winter weather forecast does predict a storm, make sure you have a way to communicate to your employees, so they know whether or not they are expected to work. You can also use social media to communicate with customers and let them know if you will be closed and when you will reopen. 

How’s Your Heating System?

It’s essential to make sure your system is running efficiently. Have your system checked by a professional twice a year, once in the summer and again in the winter. If it’s not maintained regularly, you could experience significant issues that could have been avoided. 

Check On Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Replace batteries regularly for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is very important if you will be using a generator. Portable generators should never keep it indoors because they produce high levels of carbon monoxide and could cause harm to anyone inside the building. You can find more info about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors here.

Extra Seasonal Inventory

The cold weather usually means the holidays are just around the corner. If your business carries more inventory during this time of year, you may consider including Automatic Seasonal Increase coverage for your Business Owners Policy. This type of coverage automatically increases your policy limit for business personal property by 25%.

We hope you and your business stay safe this holiday season. If you are looking for more winter safety tips, check out our blog with 11 Fireplace Safety Tips For Your Home.

House with fall leaves. 8 Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter

How to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter

It’s time for sweater weather, boots, and pumpkin spice. We may be ready for fall mentally, but our homes need some sprucing up as well. We’ve got some tips on how to prepare your home for fall and winter. So you can feel truly safe and warm while you are cozying up to the fire this season.

Fire Place & HVAC Maintenance

Speaking of warm and cozy, this is a great time for a fireplace inspection and cleaning. Be sure the damper functions correctly, check that the flue is free of debris and that you can see sunlight at the top of the chimney.

If you have a heating and cooling system, now is an excellent time to schedule an appointment to get it checked and tuned up for the coming season. A checkup can run between $50 to $100, but the peace of mind is priceless. Does your HVAC include a built-in humidifier? If so, ask the contractor to replace that filter as well.

Remember to change your filters regularly. This is an essential step in keeping your system functioning properly.

How to Seal Your Home for Winter

Sealing your home is a must! It can help save you money by preventing air leaks that waste energy and help prevent moisture from getting into your walls. Pick a few caulk tubes that match your home’s interior and exterior colors and seal up cracks around windows, trim, pipes, etc. Be sure the temp is above 50 degrees (this will help the caulk flow smoothly). This is also an excellent opportunity to check and, if needed, replace weather stripping.

Garden Hoses, Plants, and Sprinkler Systems… Oh My

Remember to Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets to prevent damage if the temperature drops below freezing. For extra precaution, turn off all shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets to guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet. Don’t forget to drain the garden hose and store it in your garage or shed.

Fall is the time to prune plants and trees. Keep limbs and branches a minimum of 3 feet from your house. This will help keep moisture from dripping onto roofing and siding and prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.

Buried irrigation lines can freeze and lead to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads. To keep pipes from freezing follow the steps below.

Steps for prevention:

  • Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
  • Shut off the automatic controller.
  • Drain water from the system by opening the drain valves.
  • Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them. Replace once dry.
  • You can also hire a pro to do this for you.


Clean Out Your Gutters

Ice dam prevention can be simple. Once the leaves are gone from your trees, clean out your gutters to reduce the risk of ice dams. Check your gutters and make sure they aren’t sagging and trapping water. Tighten, repair, or replace any gutter hangers and downspout brackets that need it. Downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from the house to prevent foundation problems, if needed, add downspout extensions.

Perform A Roof Inspection

Conduct a visual inspection of the roof from the ground, grab binoculars to get a closer look for steep roofs, or climb on up for a better view, if you are able to do so safely. Check for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If you have a flat roof, be sure to remove leaves and debris. In case you need it, here are 5 reasons you should check your roof to make sure it is ready for fall.

Safety Device Maintenance

Replace batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices. Test them to confirm they’re working correctly in case of an emergency. Have an evacuation plan and walk through it with the family to make sure everyone understands it.

We hope these tips help you and your family answer the question of how to prepare your home for fall and winter. For an in-depth look at fireplace safety, check out our blog on Fireplace Safety Tips.

8 Holiday Decorating and Safety Tips
8 Holiday Decorating and Safety Tips

While decorating and getting into the holiday spirit this year, don’t forget about these 8 Holiday Decorating and Safety tips for a beautiful home.

8 Holiday Decorating and Safety Tips:

  • Most ornaments come with metal hooks. Try using a plastic-coated paperclip to hang ornaments instead; it will prevent scratches on your beloved ornaments.
  • We’ve got a great trick if you are hanging a wreath. Drive a small screw at the very top of the door, only halfway in. Then tie a fishing line around the screw, tie your wreath to the other end of the fishing line, then drive the screw in completely to secure the line. 
  • If you are using an artificial tree, remember to check the label and make sure it is fire resistant. It’s also a good idea to check your lights to make sure they aren’t giving off too much heat.
  • Keep all trees at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, and any other heating elements to help prevent fires.
  • If you have a real tree, be sure to cut 2 inches off the trunk so it can better absorb water.
  • Instead of using real candles, consider using fake ones. You can remove the fire hazard altogether.
  • It’s always a good idea to plug in your before hanging them to make sure they work. Remember, ONLY use indoor lights and outdoor lights as they are meant to be used. (indoor for indoor, outdoor for outdoor).
  • A good hack for hanging outdoor lights is using clothespins, zip ties, or specialty clips to avoid nailing or drilling through the house and the electric cord of the lights.

We hope these tips make your holiday decorating easier and safer!

More Winter Safety Tips:

The holidays mean cooler weather and winter-proofing your home. Check out this article on How To Winterize Your Home this season, or one of our previous blogs on Fireplace Tips For A Safe Home.