Freezing and Weather Related Risks

‘Tis the season for freezing pipes, water and roof damage. Please keep in mind that insurance carriers require property owners to maintain appropriate heat and utilities at their premises. If heat and utilities are not maintained as appropriate, the carrier may not pay your claim related to freezing and water damage.

Austin & Co., Inc. would like to offer the following Best Practices to have a problem free winter.

Prevention of Frozen Pipes:

  • Set the thermostat no lower than 55ºF.
  • Make sure that your heating equipment can maintain a temperature of at least 40ºF at the coldest points such as eaves, corners and spaces with no direct heat.
  • DO NOT shut off fire sprinklers.
  • Trickle hot and cold water to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Consider installing low temperature alarms (with remote monitoring) in cold-prone areas
  • Identify the main water shut-off valves for the building and ensure that key personnel know where they are in case of a pipe break

Prevention of Roof Collapse:

  • Know the maximum snow depth that your building can safely handle
  • If a roof is susceptible to snow drifts or is difficult to access, implement a formal snow removal program with a local contractor who is qualified for roof snow removal and has the proper equipment
  • Make sure drains are clear to allow run-off of melting snow and keep downspouts free of clutter