Summertime in Colorado is Mother Nature’s invitation to celebrate the outdoors. From hiking, mountain biking and rafting to hitting the links and attending concerts and festivals, there is no shortage of summer activities in the Centennial State.
Severe Weather in Colorado
While Colorado delivers over 300 days of sunshine, it also brings the risk of severe weather that can wreak havoc on commercial properties. Heavy rain, high winds, lightning and hailstorms can severely damage or destroy roofs, gutters, roof-mounted equipment, exterior signage and other outdoor fixtures like display racks and awnings.
Here are a few of the state’s biggest summer weather hazards, along with tips to help your small business prepare for them.
High Winds and Severe Storms
Colorado is home to two of America’s most tornado-prone counties – Weld and Adams – so twister safety should be top of mind. Business owners should periodically survey their buildings from top to bottom. This includes the roof, water drainage systems, walls, windows, doors and penetration seals, such as vents, piping and conduit. Make certain these entry points are structurally sound and free of cracks, chips, debris, gaps and blockages. In the event of a tornado warning, store all unsecured outdoor objects (e.g., signs, tables and chairs, seasonal displays) indoors. Also, relocate all indoor items situated near any exterior glass.
If a flood warning is in effect, unplug equipment, lamps, appliances and other electrical devices, cover up all water-sensitive equipment with plastic bags and move these assets to an elevated area.
To prepare for a power outage, install a generator. Not only will one enable the business to continue operating, it will also help prevent property damage caused by high heat and humidity.
When it comes to flood safety, there are two must-knows for business owners: the region’s flood zone and their property’s base flood elevation (BFE). If the building’s electrical components – switches, sockets and circuit breakers – are not at least 12 inches above the BFE, a licensed electrician can raise them. If the business resides in a flood-prone area, flood proof the premises, including installing watertight shields over all doors and windows.
The threat of golf ball-sized hail exists all summer, particularly in the Front Range and parts of eastern Colorado. If operating in a hail-prone area, an impact-rated roof will provide invaluable protection. Additionally, installing hail guards, shields and wire mesh can help safeguard sensitive rooftop equipment, such as HVAC systems.
This article was published in the July 2019 edition of Colorado Insurance News (COIN). To view more articles and read the whole COIN, click here.