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How To Weatherproof Your Retail Store

By Maria Hickey on June 16th, 2022

Britain is known for being a temperate country with plenty of rainfall. This is why our countryside is so beautiful, lush and green. However, we do experience some harsh winter weather and extreme weather events, so it makes sense to protect your retail premises from the worst the British weather can throw at us.

Retail shop owners are well versed in preparing their premises for seasonal sales with excellent displays and special deals. Still, it is also essential to protect your shop and your business investments from seasonal weather changes.

In this article, we look at ways to weatherproof your retail shop and protect your business from unexpected risks caused by the weather.

Why is Weatherproofing My Shop So Important?

The first thing you may notice about your retail premises is if it has a draught. Many town and city shops were built at a time when energy efficiency wasn’t a significant concern. This means that many shop owners have a draughty premises that costs a small fortune to heat, and if draughts can get in, so can rainwater, ice and snow!

Extremes of temperature and high moisture levels are a dangerous combination for the health of your shop and inventory. Mildew and mould build-up can ruin your stock, and even the smallest of gaps around a window or doorframe can allow a draught, rain, dust, air pollution and insects to affect your business negatively.

How Can I Protect My Store from The Weather?

It can help to walk around your shop premises and make a list of repairs and DIY jobs that need doing to keep the weather out. Look for gaps around door and window frames that need sealing. Check windowpanes for cracks and loose seals that need replacing.

Fit draught excluders to external doors to prevent the wind from blowing rain and snow under the gaps in your doors. Have a roofing specialist check your roof, if you have one, to make sure there are no broken or missing roof tiles.

Check that chimney flashing is intact and in good condition.  You should also have all the rain guttering cleaned out to prevent rain and melting snow from overflowing and causing water damage to your brickwork. Ensure all external drains are clear of leaves and debris so rain and melting snow can drain away properly.

Store All Stock Carefully

You have a lot of money invested in your inventory, so keeping your stockroom protected from the weather should be prioritised. If your stockroom is on the ground floor or in the cellar, it could be at risk of being lost to a flood.

Flood damage is one of the most common insurance claims made by retail shop owners, but you can prevent as much loss of your inventory as possible by moving your stock off the floor to higher shelves. Installing metal racking shelves is a great way to utilise the available space in your stockroom.

If possible, keep your stock on the top floor of your premises and vacuum pack suitable stock items in protective packaging to reduce the risk of water damage from a flood or a burst pipe.

Keep Your Shop Dry

Preparing your shop premises for winter is a sensible move. There are ways to manage your inventory to help reduce the risks of stock loss to extreme weather events such as storms and floods.

Keep your shop floor as dry as possible during rainy weather to help prevent slips and falls. It can help to place an umbrella stand by the front door for your customers to drop in their wet umbrellas to avoid leaving a trail of drips across your floor.

If you have wooden or tiled floors, you can protect them by fitting non-slip weather mats designed to soak up water, preventing hard floors from becoming slippery.

Keep a mop and bucket handy, so you can quickly clean up any muddy footprints and snow that are tracked into your shop.

Double-Check Your Double-Glazing

Double-glazing is excellent for protecting your shop from the elements, but even double-glazing can deteriorate and fail after a few short years. If you have double-glazing installed in your shop, go around and inspect the seals around the glass panels.

Window seals tend to dry out, shrink and crack after a while, allowing water to ingress into the window frame. Although double-glazing tends to have plastic frames, rainwater and condensation can still creep through gaps and get into walls to cause dampness and mould build up over time.

If you have bought the shop premises and are unsure about how old your double-glazing is, then it is worth having a window specialist take a look and test its integrity. Double-glazing technology has advanced a lot in recent years, so it may be a wise investment to have your windows and doors replaced if you plan on running your business for a few years.

Make Sure Your Insurance Is Up to Date

Over the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in extreme weather events. So, it makes sense to revise your retail shop insurance to ensure you have the proper coverage to protect your business from significant weather events.

It is not uncommon for busy shop owners in the UK to simply automatically renew their insurance policy year after year without paying much attention to what their business is actually covered for.

Retail insurance is there to protect you and your livelihood in an unexpected crisis, whether from a customer or staff accident on your premises, damage to customers’ property, fire or flood. But you need to make sure your cover is adequate to meet your needs.

What Kind Of Insurance Does My Retail Store Need?

You never know what may be around the corner, especially with the unpredictable British weather. You must think carefully about everything that could happen on your premises, from frozen pipes bursting and causing water damage to your stock to a freak flood from a storm ruining your shop floors.

If you employ staff you need public liability insurance and employer insurance. You also need cover for your stock in case you lose it to a fire or flood, as well as content insurance for fixtures and fittings. If you lease your property check with the landlord to find out if the shop is covered with building insurance.

Retail store coverage is perfectly tailored to fit around your business, no matter whether you own your retail shop premises or not. It is a flexible cover made up of many different components relevant to your particular business.

It is also worth noting that you can get insurance cover for theft and criminal damage to your property. However, this isn’t always included in standard retail insurance policies, so you should always carefully check the policy details before paying for it.

When you compare business insurance quotes with us, you will clearly see what is included in your cover so you can make accurate quote comparisons. Retail shop insurance is a worthwhile investment for protecting your business going into the future.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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