Running your own business takes a lot of work. Between developing new advertising and producing additional inventory, you have a lot on your plate. It is easy to forget about maintaining the property that houses your business. Yet this step is crucial. If a flood or other disaster harms the premises, it could cost your company thousands of dollars. That is why you should take the below steps to protect your business from property damage.

1. Check for Plumbing Issues

A water emergency can be particularly costly to a business. Even one burst pipe can destroy inventory and ruin carpets. The water could also harm the structure of the premises itself. Excess water may cause harmful mold to grow inside the property, as well.

You should thus regularly check your plumbing system for signs of problems. Sudden mold growth, damp walls or an unexplained  change in your water bill could be evidence of a leak. You can also install a water sensor into your system. This sensor, which is available at home improvement stores, notifies you whenever a leak is present. There are even systems that shut off the water supply entirely once a leak is detected.

If you suspect a water issue in your business, contact a specialist immediately. A plumber can fix the leak before it causes too much damage. You may also want to call water mitigation professionals to ensure any liquid that did leak is removed properly.

2. Insulate Your Pipes

Sometimes, a leak does not occur gradually over time. Water may also enter your property via a burst pipe. When a pipe is exposed to extreme cold, the water inside it freezes and expands. Eventually, the pipe cannot handle the size of the ice, and the pipe explodes.

The best way to prevent this phenomenon is to keep your pipes insulated. Insulation is particularly important for pipes that are on exterior walls or otherwise exposed to the elements.

You should also set the thermostat to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times — even on nights and weekends when no one is in the building.

In addition, you should keep open any cabinets that contain pipes. This will allow the warm air from your building to flow onto those pipes.

3. Prepare for Storms

Storms such as hurricanes do not just bring wet weather. They also typically feature heavy winds that could knock down trees or destroy windows.

If your business is based in an area prone to heavy storms, consider getting shutters to protect the windows. Shutters are fairly durable and should be able to withstand numerous storms.

Be sure to also trim trees that are growing close to your building. You should remove any debris that could blow into the property, as well. If your company utilizes exterior furniture such as benches, have a professional secure those items to the ground.

4. Clean the Roof and Gutters

Winter storms can be damaging, as well. Ice and snow can accumulate on your roof, creating a dam that puts excess strain on the top of your building. To avoid a roof  collapse, remove the ice and snow regularly.

Gutter buildup  similarly prevents the drainage system from working properly. This, in turn, could lead rain water to enter your building instead of flowing away from it. Have a professional frequently remove leaves and other debris in the gutters.

5. Keep Out Vandals

Property damage does not only result from nature. Humans, particularly vandals and thieves, can also harm your premises.

To keep out arsonists and other criminals, secure all the doors with deadbolt locks. The doors themselves should be made of metal or solid-core wood. You may also want to install motion-sensor lights, security fencing and/or cameras. These can all deter potential burglars.

Your company’s headquarters likely houses lots of valuable assets. Severe damage to those assets could destroy your business. By following the above suggestions, you should be able to keep your company’s building and possessions safe.