Powerful Tips to Protect Your Property from Cold Weather
Winter is here. While snow and ice are a good thing for skiing and snowshoeing, they are not a welcome sight inside your property. Take for example, water damage. Because freezing pipes expand, colder temperatures often cause pipe seals to break and/or pipes to crack. In a matter of minutes, your property can be exposed to severe water damage. Snow or ice damage is also another winter hazard for any cold-climate business. Included in this post are some quick and powerful steps that you can take to protect your property from the harsh elements and freezing temperatures:
Cold Weather Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes
- Be sure all pipes are insulated in the areas of your building that might drop below freezing; think basements, attics, crawl spaces or storage spaces.
- Seal any openings in your property that could allow cold air inside, paying attention to open areas around pipes, vents and electrical wiring.
- Open doors and cabinets (including under sinks and closets) where pipes are located. Keep doors slightly ajar between unheated and heated rooms.
- In severe cold snaps, if you have sinks in low-use work areas that could freeze, turn the water on slightly to have it run into the sink to keep a slight flow of water moving through.
- If your property will be closed and vacant for any length of time, keep the heat at no less than 55 degrees F.
Water Damage Prevention
- If you are expecting overnight outdoor temperatures to drop below freezing, these conditions are conducive to unprotected pipes being more likely to burst. If you find that any of your pipes are frozen and cracked, here are a few steps to take immediately:
- To rescue a frozen pipe, turn off the water flow to the property to prevent further damage.
- Next, locate all of the cracks (if any) before pipes thaw and make note of their location. Be sure to then consult a plumbing professional to address any cracked pipe issues before thawing and to prevent additional water damage.
- If there are not any cracks, you may proceed with attempting to thaw the pipes with a hair dryer and/or allow them to thaw on their own. Alert: Never attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with a blowtorch or any type of open flame, as this could ignite a fire, jeopardize safety and cause even more damage to your property.
Water Damage Restoration
If water damage does occur, be sure to immediately turn off electrical power and unplug all electrical items in the affected area. You should also locate your business' water shutoff valve and turn off the water supply as quickly as possible. You should next reach out to a water damage professional to prevent further damage, maintain safety, and also reduce the chances of harmful bacteria growth. This professional should also be able to advise you on how best to deal with the situation.