Frozen pipes can burst if left unchecked, and in the cases of unoccupied properties, frozen pipes may not be immediately noticed until it is too late. Real estate managers should continue to perform maintenance tasks on their properties, especially in the winter months. A snow removal expert can provide consultation for the outside property, but the inside of the building requires care as well. Pipes are one of the most important maintenance concerns due to their propensity for freezing as temperatures drop and how costly the clean up and repair can be if the worst should happen. Below are tips to help prevent pipes from freezing and costing a lot of money to replace and repair the damage to the surrounding areas.
Check for Leaks
Inspect all water supply points including, bathrooms, kitchen areas, utility areas, and basements. Note if any pipes or spigots are in need of repair and have this fixed as soon as possible.
Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.
Set the Thermostat
There are numerous money saving tips that tell property owners and managers to lower the temperature of the thermostat at night, but in the winter, this can promote pipe freezing. Instead, leave the heat on at night, or, if you will not return to the property for some time, lower the thermostat to 55 degrees. Do not go below this temperature, or frozen pipes may still be possible.
Open cabinets located under sinks to help warm air get to the pipes. Doors to unused rooms that house pipes should also be kept open to prevent freezing of pipes.
Keep Out Drafts
Cold air leaks can drop the temperature in a room, potentially allowing the pipes to freeze if the temperature drops too much. Prevent this by wedging towels beneath outside doors to keep drafts from finding their way into the building.
Let the Faucets Drip
Water conservationists frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.