Chicago has already experienced some chilling temperatures, and we're likely to see single to below zero temps over the next few months. Extreme cold can lead to burst pipes and serious damage if owners do not take proper precautions. Here are a few ways to avoid the expense and stress of freezing pipes:
- Proactively protect pipes. Insulate pipes and water lines that come into contact with cold weather. Turn off the water to outdoor spigots.
- Keep the heat at or above 65 degrees. Owners may try to save money by setting thermostats low, but keeping your building warm is critical to avoiding frozen pipes.
- Inspect pipes for signs of freezing. Look for obvious signs such as bulging or frost on visible pipes. Check for reduced water flow or non-flushing toilets, which could indicate a freeze. If you find signs of frozen pipes, turn off the water supply and call a plumber.
- Monitor vacant units. Foreclosed or otherwise vacant units are most susceptible to flooding from frozen pipes. Ensure that vacant units have been weatherized. Heat should be at or above 65 degrees. Faucets can be set to a trickle.
Flooding from burst pipes causes damage averaging $15,000. Take steps to prevent freezing pipes and protect your building before temperatures plunge.