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Weatherproof your church against wintertime damage

While preparing for the winter and Christmas season, remember to protect the church from heightened property damage risks, such as winter weather, higher electricity usage and open candle flames.

How can you protect the church's exterior?

  • Review the roof. The roof and gutters can be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind money pit. Check for warped roof areas or snow or ice build-up that could cause the roof to collapse under the weight, or melt and grow mold.
  • Wipe the walkways. Keep the pathways free of ice and snow to help avoid injuries, slips or falls. Consider placing a rug at the entrance(s) for people to wipe their feet (similar to the grocery store in front of the produce section). According to OSHA, each year thousands of employees slip, trip and fall at work and it causes them to miss work.

How can you protect the church's interior?

  • Protect the pipes. Cold weather can cause pipes and plumbing to burst. Make sure the pipes and water heaters are well insulated. While your congregation and staff are away, don’t turn off the heat completely; just lower the level. Removing all heat may allow the pipes to freeze and burst.
  • Keep a kit. Create an emergency toolkit with extra batteries, flashlights, first-aid kit and emergency phone numbers just in case your church experiences a power outage or other damaging factors.

If these tasks present a risk, consult with a professional to ensure proper winter weather preparation is handled safely and accurately.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Readers should use this article as a tool, along with best judgment and any terms or conditions that apply, to determine appropriate policies and procedures for your church's risk management program.