Batten down the hatches: 3 seasonal risks your property owning clients need to know

by iprism

Every year property owners and employers fall foul of problems caused by cold and icy conditions.

As new scientific research suggests, extreme weather is becoming more common, and it makes sense to ensure that businesses and landlords are protected from the effects of adverse weather.

So here are three seasonal risks that can (and, let’s face it, probably will) affect UK property owners this winter.

Snow and ice

Yes, snow and ice is pretty; but it’s full of inherent danger for both buildings and people.

Did you know that a covering of freshly fallen snow, 1cm deep, over an area of 10m2, weighs around 100kg? That's more than the average person. When it freezes, it can weigh even more.

Snow and ice can cause a number of issues for buildings, such as:

  • Damage to roofing, shop awnings and canopies, where heavy snowfall builds up and places stress on the structure
  • Problems with roof drainage, where gutters and downpipes become blocked with slush and ice

Freezing temperatures and strong winds

Freezing temperatures and strong, icy winds are now the norm over the long British winter. Owners of empty properties and unheated buildings need to be aware of the risk that freezing temperatures pose to dormant heating systems and water pipes. Even a property left vacant for a short period, such as over a Bank Holiday weekend, is at risk during the colder months.

High winds and rain can damage properties, in fact, flying debris caused much of the property damage in the storms that battered the UK last month.


With Ash dieback and Dutch elm disease on the increase, buildings are at greater risk from tree damage than ever before.

Warmer summer temperatures have led to increased outbreaks of fungal growth on trees something that can weaken tree trunks and lead to further property damage. It's worth having an experienced tree surgeon give advice on any work necessary to protect property from danger and people from harm.

So, as a round up, some points worthy of consideration:

  • Are property maintenance schedules up to date?
  • When was the last roof inspection done?
  • Is the guttering clear of debris and in good condition?
  • Are there any loose materials or objects nearby that could cause damage in strong winds?

Remember loose sheet materials and wheelie bins become potent missiles in gusty winds too!

Deep snow on country road and houses