Nearly a quarter million Americans suffer from flood water damage because of pipe freezing. Cold weather will be upon us very soon, and can wreak havoc on plumbing and cause major issues for homeowners and community associations. One burst pipe could lead to an entire association building full of water damage, which could cost thousands of dollars or more. That is last thing you want to deal with. Here are a few tips on how homeowners and associations can both prevent freezing pipes in the winter.

Pipe freezing prevention for association boards

  • Shut down sprinkler systems. frozen outdoor spigotBlow out the water lines every fall and turn off the water. Your sprinkler company should have included this service in your original contract. Be sure to contact them before the weather gets too cold.
  • Shut off common area hoses as well. Turn off spigots every fall season, and drain the lines to prevent any pipe freezing.
  • When dealing with an older building, be sure the plumbing lines are heated and running. One common solution to keeping lines warm is to wrap the pipes in a fiberglass or foam insulation.
  • Check vacant units and ensure the heat is set to a desired temperature to prevent the pipes from freezing and causing damage to surrounding units.

Pipe freezing prevention for association homeowners

  • If the weather is going to dip below zero, leave your faucets running slightly to reduce the chance of your pipe freezing and bursting. This is especially important if you plan to be gone for many hours or days at a time.
  • Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and overnight. When you are not going to be home, be sure to keep your heat on a minimum of 60 degrees.
  • Leave your cabinets that are closest to outside walls in shared areas like the kitchen and bathroom open.
  • Disconnect external hoses and exposed pipes if you have these outside.
  • Keep an eye on the upcoming weather for sharp temperature drops in the winter season.
  • Don’t leave any windows or patio doors opened. Even with one inch of space, the cold air can cause a pipe to freeze within minutes.

“frozen 48” by Eric.Ray is licensed under CC BY 2.0