December. It is hard to believe coming off of the mild weather and beautiful fall that we enjoyed. The question is “when can we expect the bad stuff?” Even though it’s unimaginable right now, it’s time to start preparing for the snow and ice that are just around the corner. Preparing for winter means stocking up on boots and sweaters, taking the winter coats out of storage, and making sure your car, lawn and home are ready for the season.
When it comes to your home, your heating system needs to be in high operation mode, and your pipes should be properly insulated, with any outside hose bibbs weatherized. If you also happen to be a business owner, these same important elements of winter preparation also hold true for your operation. From proper insulation to preventive inspections, here are some tips on how to successfully align the inner workings of your business for an easy skate to winter.
Schedule a preventive inspection
Before winter hits, schedule an appointment with a local plumbing company to make sure your business’ pipes are in good condition and are able to survive the winter. Most winter damage to pipes is preventable, so by scheduling an appointment early, you could be discovering a potential problem before it occurs and ultimately be saving yourself a lot of time and money in the long run. After all, repairing a pipe would cost less than fixing the damage caused by a burst pipe.
Another preventive measure you can take to help protect your business’ pipes is to detach and drain your outside hose, if your business has one. Water expands as it freezes, so if there is water left over in the hose and the hose is still connected to the water source, the water would expand and potentially damage the hose or pipes. This will be most noticeable in the spring when you prepare to turn the water on.
Finally, if your business has cupboards, closets or other enclosed areas that house certain main line pipes under sinks or to similar appliances, make sure to occasionally open these areas and expose these pipes to the central heating in your business. This is particularly important when the temps dip below freezing. Pipes need a little heat, too.
Before the cold weather hits, double check and ensure that your business is properly insulated. If there are problems with the insulation, the cold air that enters your business could eventually freeze the pipes, which could cause damage. This is particularly relevant if your business has an attic or basement. These two areas are typically under-insulated, which means the pipes located here have a greater risk of freezing.
Check for airways
If exposed pipes are located near any windows in your business, make sure to keep these windows closed during the winter. If these pipes were continuously exposed to the cold winter air, they are more likely to suffer damage.
Watch that thermostat
As a general winter rule of thumb, never let your thermostat fall below 55 degrees during cold weather. Because of the combined cold, both inside and out, your pipes will have double the chance of freezing due to temperatures.