While it’s important for commercial property managers to keep the building and its tenants safe all year long, winter safety might be one of the most crucial priorities of them all.
When you neglect required preparations prior the colder months, it probably goes without saying that freezing temperatures will eventually create all types of hazards for the property you manage. Let’s take one of the most common winter issues for commercial properties – freezing pipes. Trust us, the mess and cost to clean up a water line or pipe that freezes is not something that anyone wants to deal with.
Winter Safety 101: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Freezing temperatures may cause much further damage such as malfunction to vital safety systems (e.g. fire protection systems). Worst case scenario, sprinkler pipes can burst resulting in major damage to buildings, furnishing, computer and electrical equipment.
Want to keep your commercial property safe this winter? Take these 5 steps listed below to prevent freezing water pipes from bursting.
5 Winter Safety Measures to Prevent Your Commercial Property from Freezing Pipes
1. Insulate all water pipes that run along the exterior of the building or those that are located in unheated interior spaces.
2. Inspect water pipes on a regular basis – look for any signs of small leaks or fatigue that could cause them to fail in a big way when the temperatures drop significantly.
3. Run water at a slow drip to relieve the pressure that can burst a pipe if you think it’s about to freeze.
4. Check all shutoff valves and levers to make sure they are in excellent working order.
5. Keep utilities on in vacant units. The cost of maintaining utilities in that unit will offset the cost of loss that could result from the lack of heat or water movement.
While these 5 winter safety measures can help avoiding a catastrophic pipe burst, the best thing you can do to minimize the damage is simply be prepared for the worst. What to do once you notice the frozen pipes? First, turn off the main water supply. If this is not possible, contact a plumber and explain that it is an emergency.
Same goes for water seeping from the ceiling and/or walls. Your emergency/safety measures should include the following: Shut down the power supply at the meter box and call an electrician immediately. Make every effort to protect documents, electronics and computers. Open doors and windows in the water damaged area to allow for drying and contact an emergency clean up service immediately. The sooner you have a professional disaster clean up team on site, the quicker and less expensive the cost to repair and prevent hazardous mold growth.
For more Winter Safety Tips for Commercial Property Managers, please read this article.
Asset Management Alliance has deep roots in the Delaware community helping all types of commercial property owners protect and enhance the value of their investment through employing a diligent and fully vetted management, maintenance and engineering team that is available 24/7 every day of the year.
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