In an uncertain world, there’s one fact we know for certain — pipes will freeze when the weather becomes cold. While insurance covers this unfortunate occurrence, it’s a much better situation for your organization if you take precautions to prevent the problem in the first place. CM Select has compiled this list of important steps to lower your risk of frozen pipes:
- Keep the building temperature above 50 degrees. Do not turn your heat off completely—even when your building will be unoccupied for a long period of time. Also, during periods of extreme cold, discontinue the use of lower nighttime temperatures. A cold building is the single greatest risk factor for frozen pipes.
- Add insulation to attics and crawl spaces. Without insulation, the heat your system generates will escape through the attic and crawl space. During periods of extreme cold, you should also insulate your pipes.
- Keep your doors and windows tightly closed. Look for drafts and cold air leaks—even a small leak could lead to frozen pipes. When you close doors, double check to ensure they are completely latched.
- Let a faucet drip to prevent pipes from freezing. During periods of extreme cold, this practice can relieve pressure and prevent pipes from bursting.
- Consider turning off your water. If your building will not be in use for a period of time, you may want to turn off the water and drain your pipes to decrease your risk of freezing. In this case, you should designate someone to visit the building every few days to check for signs of a drop in temperature and water damage.
If your pipes do freeze, open the faucets on frozen fixtures to relieve pressure and prevent pipes from bursting. Soak rags in hot water and wrap them around the frozen pipes. Use a space heater in particularly cold areas, and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
In the event of a burst pipe, turn off your water immediately and call a plumber. This is where your insurance comes into play: make sure to give us a call.
The information contained in these materials is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on these materials. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in these materials.