PROTECT YOUR FACILITY FROM FROZEN PIPES IN BITTER WINTER WEATHER
The recent temperatures across Louisiana have been frigid. Cold weather can have hazardous effects on buildings, one of those being frozen pipes. The pipes in warmer climates, such as Louisiana, are more vulnerable to freezing. Frozen pipes can cause extreme damage to your facility. Taking necessary precautions to prevent this from occurring is vital. The following are a few measures that you should consider taking to prevent potential future issues:
• Identify the main water shut off valve in your building. If you come across a frozen or burst pipe, shut off the main water valve, which will minimize water damage.
• Wrap water pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures and cold drafts, as well as those located in unheated or non-insulated areas, with pipe insulation.
• During cold temperatures, leave cabinet doors open where water pipes and drains are present, which will allow the warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
• Make sure windows are shut securely near water pipes and cover open-air vents. Freezing temperatures and wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
• During extremely cold temperatures, turn faucets on to a slow trickle to reduce the chances of water lines from freezing.
• Consider installing an automatic detection system that can monitor the temperature of a specific pipe. If the temperature of the pipe drops below a pre-set temperature, the unit will automatically shut off the main water valve. This will not prevent the pipe from freezing, but it will protect the pipes from bursting.
• Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of the building.
• Consider weather-sealing windows.
• If the building will be unoccupied for an extended period during cold weather, the following is recommended:
– Set the thermostat at 50 degrees or above; and
– If possible, have someone check the building daily to ensure the heating system is working.
A frozen pipe may be inevitable. In the event that you do find a frozen pipe, or a pipe bursts, contact a licensed plumbing contractor as soon as possible.
If your pipes do freeze:
· If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
· Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. You could be electrocuted.
· Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your building!
· You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
The winter weather can be hard on your facility. Taking preventative action now will be beneficial in helping your organization combat the cold, wind and snow. If the pipes do burst call our office for claim filing assistance.