The groundhog predicts…more winter!

February 24th, 2015 by admin

Frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops. A burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage, according to IBHS research.

 

• Provide a reliable back-up power source, such as a stand-by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building.

• Interior building temperature can be monitored by a central monitoring company to ensure prompt notification if the interior of the building reaches low temperatures during after hours, power outages or idle periods.

• Recessed light fixtures in the ceiling below the open area that is directly under a roof, such as attic space, should be insulated to prevent the release of heat into the attic.

• Check to see if there is any visible light from recessed light fixtures in the attic.

• If there is, they are not adequately sealed or insulated. Sometimes, especially in low sloped roof buildings, the space above a suspended ceiling located below the roof may be heated and cooled like the occupied area below.

• If that is the case, there is no need to insulate above the suspended ceiling or seal the ceiling’s penetrations.

• Insulate all attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, electric and mechanical chases, and access doors that are not properly sealed.

• Ensure proper seals on all doors and windows. Depending on the building or room size, fan tests can be conducted to ensure room and pressurization tests.

• Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduit, other utility service line, etc.

• Sprinkler systems should be monitored by a constantly attended central station to provide early detection of a sprinkler pipe rupture due to freezing.

• Insulation and/or heat trace tape with a reliable power source may be installed on various wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.

• UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back-up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.

• A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the space is unoccupied.