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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Preparing churches for the winter season

    November 13, 2023 / By Autumn Wells, Administrative and Accounting Services Specialist / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Cold weather can wreak havoc on our homes and churches, but taking proper precautions can help prevent the unexpected. The Upper New York Conference Insurance Committee and Board of Trustees would like to remind our valued churches to be on the lookout for frozen pipes this coming winter season. Not only will these few steps help ease stress, but they could result in cost saving measures to maintaining low insurance premiums.  

    According to the American Church Group of New York, freezing pipes may be the biggest claim submitted. Watch this video for simple steps and recommendations on what to do during the winter months to spot small problems before they turn into costly repairs. 

    Regular maintenance doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The Upper New York Conference has a checklist available for download that outlines safety measures and concerns so you can keep track of any problems before they happen. Click here to download the checklist.  

    Some of the following questions are suggestions you should consider when caring for any building, including your church:  

    • Are sump pumps in good working order and is there provision for back-up? 
    • Are heat tapes being used on roofs to prevent water leaks due to ice dams? 
    • Are pipes subject to freezing temperatures protected by heat tapes? 
    • Are boilers inspected and documented annually? 
    • Have trees been inspected to identify weakness or potential for falling? 
    • Is there a monitored alarm or water sensor in place? 
    • Is there a backup plan for power?  

    One of the biggest risk factors of property damage in winter months is frozen pipes. Brotherhood Mutual has the following suggestions:   

    1. Set the Thermostat above 55 degrees.
    2. Leave faucets on a trickle.
    3. Check the church property regularly.
    4. Maximize the reach of warm air.

    Click here to see the full list.  

    Brotherhood Mutual Insurance is offering a new device called the FloLogic® system that stops the water flow once a leak is sensed. It’s an intelligent leak detection system that’s installed by a licensed plumber on the main water lines on the buildings. The water sensor senses irregular flow or if the temperature drops, in which case it will automatically shut off the water. Click here for more information about it. Brotherhood offers a 20-percent discount on this product. Click here to get more information about the discount.  

    The unprecedented Christmas blizzard of 2022 had some unpreventable damages. This will happen no matter how prepared you are. Please remember to call the insurance broker at American Church Group as soon as you notice any issues, James Nguyen, at 1-800-326-7200 or email him at American Church Group will help you with claims and repairs to make the claims process go faster.  

    Ask your church membership how you can help prepare your church this season. Then, go help your neighbor do the same.  

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."