Winter is right around the corner and that means it’s time to winterize your business’ physical building. Winterizing your building is especially important this year since the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of your winter preparations will have a direct effect on people’s health.
There’s no telling how bad things will get this winter with flu season on top of the coronavirus, so take these 5 steps to ensure your business is safe for you, your team, and your customers.
- Install glass screens to separate your team from customers
In 2020 and beyond, protective glass screens will be an important part of winterizing your business. You can put screens in a variety of places including:
- Hanging from the ceiling to separate customers from cashiers
- Anchored to service desks
- Bordering cubicles with open walls
- In the middle of conference tables
There are numerous benefits of using glass protective barriers as opposed to plastic. For instance, plastic gets scratches and scuff marks easily and it’s hard to clean. Glass won’t accumulate those little scratches that make a barrier look ugly, which means you won’t need to replace glass screens as often as you would plastic.
- Storm-and-draft-proof your windows and doors
Some areas of the U.S. are expected to see an exceptionally harsh winter in 2020. No matter where you are, prepare your doors and windows for a cold winter. Even if you don’t get snow, it’s possible that you’ll get colder winds than you’re used to.
Your customers will notice a draft in the winter, so seal up any known drafts and have a professional come out to test all of your seals. Fixing drafts in your windows and doors will not only make your employees and customers feel comfortable, but it will save you a significant amount of money on heating costs this winter.
- Change your HVAC and other air filters
A dirty air filter has plenty of negative consequences. In the winter, a dirty filter overdue for cleaning or replacement can cause your HVAC unit to run inefficiently. Air won’t flow through a clogged filter, which causes the whole HVAC system to work harder. This will increase your electric bill, but can also cause the system to distribute heat unevenly, resulting in cold rooms.
Worst case scenario, if you don’t change your air filter, your HVAC unit will end up with overworked evaporative coils that can cause a total system failure.
It’s imperative for you to maintain clean air filters in every air purification or filtration system you have in your building. Dirty filters in small air filtration units can end up blowing the dirt, dust, and allergens back into the space, where they can cause health problems for anyone in the building.
- Review your business’ COVID-19 policies
If you’re one of the businesses allowed to operate in your area, make sure to review your COVID-19 policies. While you are required to follow all state and federally mandated laws, you may find it appropriate to adopt additional rules for your business. For instance, you may not be required to use one-way aisles, but you could choose to implement them if you think one-way aisles will help keep people safe.
Know your company policies before winter hits. Make the necessary changes as far in advance as possible to give your customers fair warning about what you’ll be expecting from them in your store.
- Attend to problematic trees
Don’t wait for a windstorm, heavy snow, or heavy sheets of ice to take care of problematic trees on your property. Look around for trees that might be dead, dying, or have loose branches that will easily fall in a storm. Have problematic trees cut down and removed entirely. For healthy trees with dead branches, it’s generally safe to just cut the dead branches.
Sometimes it’s hard to identify dead or diseased trees so make sure you call in an expert to determine which trees need to be removed or trimmed.
Get started before winter creeps in
Winter may start earlier than usual, so make sure to get your winterization tasks done as soon as possible. Don’t wait until winter hits. You may not be able to get an appointment with professionals, and if you can, you might end up getting charged far more than you would if you prepared ahead of time.