You’re a rugged sort, living here where you do. And when you start to feel the cold coming you’re all ready with your sweaters and mufflers, hats and gloves, your boots and maybe even hand warmers for your pockets. But what about your home or business? As a very friendly property management company we’re going to give you some tips for getting through to spring as cozily and safely as possible.
You don’t want your pipes to freeze and here are some easy ways to eliminate the chance of that:
- If you’re planning on being out, keep the heat at no less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open up doors and cabinets such as under sinks and closets where pipes are located. Keep doors at least slightly ajar between unheated and heated rooms.
- In severe cold snaps, if you have sinks in low-use work areas that could potentially freeze, turn the water on just slightly to have it run into the sink and keep a slight flow of water moving through it.
- If you are an owner, you want to be sure that all pipes are insulated in the areas of your building that might drop below freezing; think basements, attics, crawl spaces or storage spaces. If you are renting, be in touch with your manager or rental agency to make sure that this has been taken care of. It’s a good idea to check before the cold is really here. Schedule an appointment to have everything looked at before you need it.
- Ownership is true in this situation also: seal up any openings in your property that could be allowing cold air inside, paying close attention to open areas around pipes, vents and electrical wiring. If you’re a renter, do as above and check with the people/company who can help.
If the temperature has gone below freezing overnight and pipes have frozen or cracked – which can happen with unprotected pipes – here are a few steps to take immediately:
- Call your management company without delay.
- Bundle up and turn off the water flow to the property to prevent more damage.
- Locate all of the cracks before pipes thaw and make note of their location. If you are an owner, consult a plumbing professional to address any cracked pipe issues before thawing and to prevent additional water damage.
- In the event of no cracks, you may proceed with attempting to thaw the pipes with a hair dryer and/or allow them to thaw on their own. Never attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with a blowtorch or any type of open flame, as this could ignite a fire, jeopardize safety and cause even more damage to your property.
- Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
Beyond damage to your property, you have to watch out for yourself, too. And you don’t want yourself or anyone else getting hurt in a parking lot or walkway. Slips and falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths, according to the National Safety Council. Here are tips for walking safely in the winter weather from the University of Utah and Iowa State University:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination to avoid carelessness.
- Wear shoes and boots with good traction.
- Walk at a slower pace.
- Stay on designated walkways.
- Use the handrail when using stairs and entering and exiting buildings.
- Put your gloves on and keep your hands out of your pockets while walking — that decreases your center of gravity and balance.
And if you need a visual, think about walking like a penguin when you’re on the ice. The waddle we all love to see keeps your center of gravity over your front leg and will help keep you upright. Spread your feet out slightly, to increase your center of gravity, and take small steps.
At Kinetic, we are always looking to improve and welcome your suggestions. Please give us a call if you’re looking for a property to own or rent or if you need a wonderful management company. We’d be delighted to work with you. Now make sure you have some hot chocolate at hand.