While many property managers look forward to spring, others cherish winter's landscape, but neither are safe from the disaster of bursting pipes.
Among the most important tasks performed by caretakers this season will be ensuring their pipes are in good shape. If left unchecked, flowing water turns into expanding ice, causing pressure that threatens the integrity of your plumbing.
Pipes are more susceptible to freezing:
- In basements, attics, crawlspaces, and other under-insulated areas
- If the heating system fails, or if your plumbing is aging or in need of repair
Follow these basic steps to avoid the expense and hassle of bursting pipes:
- Shut off the interior valve, drain outdoor faucets and spigots, and disconnect your hose to store with other outdoor equipment.
- Inspect for leaking airflow and apply caulk or insulation where needed, especially around wiring, vents, and plumbing, warding off surrounding frigid temperatures.
- Insulate pipes to prevent exposure to freezing temperatures, especially piping susceptible to drafts and on outside walls.
- Maintain a consistent building temperature from day to night, no lower than 55 degrees.
- When temperatures drop significantly, turn vulnerable faucets to a slow drip to keep water moving, rather than freezing under pressure.
Remember that if water fails to flow from a faucet during a cold spell, you may have a frozen pipe on your hands. If this happens, open faucets that aren't flowing, and consult with a professional for thawing advice and assistance.