Insights and tips on how to protect your inn or bed & breakfast, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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Going with The Snow — Tips to Winterize Your Inn

Preparing Your Inn for Winter

Winter is almost here, weather you like it or not. Nature is unpredictable, so don’t wait to prepare your inn for the harshest season. Fortunately, simple inspections and improvements to your bed and breakfast property can prevent costly winter-related insurance claims.

7 Steps to Take to Prepare Your Inn for Winter Weather

1. Plumbing Vulnerabilities 

Burst pipes are a common culprit of winter property damage. During frigid temperatures, exposed plumbing can freeze and rupture. Fissured pipes will cause water to flood and damage ceilings, walls, wiring and other structural areas. Additionally, excessive moisture can promote mold growth.

If you have a freeze-prevention monitoring system, verify it’s in good working order and will notify you when temperatures are low enough to freeze pipes. Examine your inn for foundational holes and wall, window and door cracks. Seal and repair these openings to prevent frigid air from entering. Also consider insulating plumbing for an additional layer of protection.

All exterior piping should be closed off and drained at the beginning of the winter season. Contact a plumber to install shut-off valves on exterior faucets.

2. Ice & Snow Concerns

Don’t think twice about securing a reliable contractor to be on call for driveway, parking lot and sidewalk snow removal. Designate an employee who can assess your property to determine necessary snow/ice removal and when conditions are safe for staff and customers. It’s dangerous to let your guests slide around in parking lots or slip-on sidewalks as they walk into your inn.

Schedule a structural engineer to verify your roof’s snow threshold. This will allow you to assess when the snow weight could potentially cause damage. Consider a snow removal contractor for your roof as ice and snow can place enormous amounts of weight on your structure.

3. Guttering Exposures

Inspect your gutters and drains for potential damage. Verify they’re secure and free from debris. When snow and ice cannot drain off your roof, it will freeze and cause roofing problems and subsequent interior damage. Evaluate your gutters and downspouts for water backup.

4. Alternate Power Options

Generators can help your bed and breakfast quickly recover from a snow or ice storm and can keep your business operating even during a power outage. They can also maintain property temperatures above freezing to help keep pipes from bursting. If you do not possess a backup generator, now is the time to purchase one and make sure it can supply the power needed to remain operational. Evaluate whether a portable or permanent generator would provide your business with cost-effective benefits while lowering exposures.

5. Landscaping Issues

Inspect all vegetation near your inn and trim any bushes or trees that are too close. Iced or snow-filled branches can cause damage to your windows, building or roofing. Trim tree branches that are close to power lines to avoid a power outage and business interruption.

6. HVAC Problems

It’s important to schedule preventive maintenance to your HVAC system to verify it works efficiently. This will allow for any necessary repairs before temperatures drop. Establish a service agreement with a licensed repair company that’s available for emergency calls.

7. Window & Door Replacement

Older, single-pane windows offer low thermal resistance. Install double or triple-pane windows with high thermal resistance (R-value) and thermal break. The R-value tells you how well a system can resist the transfer of heat; the higher the value, the better that system performs. A thermal break is insulation built within the frame of the window to reduce thermal transfer. Along with your windows, install exterior and roll-up doors that provide a high R-value. Replace any windows or doors that are showing signs of age to avoid water damage.

Become the Best in Snow with CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance

Don’t let this winter be a frostrating situation. Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding damage and other risks at your building. To learn more about protecting your business with comprehensive insurance coverage, connect with a team member today at CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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885.945.5221 | innkeepers@cbiz.com 

700 W 47th Street, Suite 1100 |
Kansas City, MO 64112 

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CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of innkeeper businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a specific policy coverage to meet the needs for inns and bed & breakfasts, and the amenities offered by these businesses. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.

The CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to beds & breakfasts. We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" — our representatives will explain your coverage in simple terms. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication. As specialists in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your inn are protected.





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