Temperatures are steadily dropping, and winter is just around the corner. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), “Frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops,” and “a frozen pipe can lead to pipes bursting, and result in more than $5,000 in water damage.”
The IBHS lists eight ways to prevent frozen pipe damage for a business:
1. Seal exterior: “Seal all cracks, holes, windows, doors, and other openings on exterior walls with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating wall cavity.”
2. Seal interior: “Insulate and seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, and electric and mechanical chases.”
3. Relieve pipe pressure: Let faucets drip during extreme cold weather to help prevent water from freezing. Sometimes freezing will still occur but opening a faucet will relieve excessive pressure buildup and prevent the pipe from bursting.
4. Keep the building warm: IBHS suggests setting your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you plan to be away.
5. Insulate vulnerable pipes: Use pipe insulation to protect vulnerable pipes in unheated attics, garages, outer walls, etc. As pointed out in another IBHS article, pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store, and can end up saving you a lot of money.
6. Install early detection system: IBHS suggests installing “an automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming domestic water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve. Use wireless sensors near water sources.”
7. Monitor fire protection sprinkler systems: “Use a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure.” IBHS also suggests installing UL-approved gas or electric unity heaters to heat unheated sprinkler control rooms.
8. Install backup power: “Provide a reliable back-up power source, such as a stand by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building.”
Following these tips will reduce the risk of your pipes freezing and help prevent them from bursting. Action Mechanical specializes in a range of services, so if you do run into problems this winter, we can help.