Freezing temperatures can create all types of hazards and often cause major damage to properties when proper preparations are not taken. The mess and cost to clean up a water line or pipe that freezes is not something that anyone wants to deal with and is avoidable if certain steps are taken prior to the arrival of winter weather conditions.
Freezing temperatures can also cause vital safety systems, such as fire protection systems to malfunction. Worst case scenario, sprinkler pipes can burst resulting in major damage to buildings, furnishing, computer and electrical equipment.
The saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure comes to mind when dealing with the results of frozen water lines. Take these 5 steps listed below to prevent freezing water pipes from bursting and to keep your building and its occupants safe this winter.
5 Steps to Preventing Burst 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, looking for any signs of small leaks or fatigue that could cause them to fail in a big way when the freezing temperatures arrive.
3. Run water at a slow drip to relieve the pressure that can burst a pipe in the case that it does freeze.
4. Check all shutoff valves and levers to make sure they are in pristine working order.
5. Keep utilities on in vacant units- if you have 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 which causes frozen pipes and subsequent water damage.
While these 5 preventative measures can help to avoid a catastrophic pipe burst, being prepared should the pipes burst is paramount to minimizing the damage. First turn off the main water supply. If this is not possible, contact a plumber and explain that it is an emergency.
Should you notice water seeping from the ceiling and/or walls, 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.
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.