With colder temperatures arriving in many states, now is a good time to take measures to protect pipes from freezing. Frozen water pipes often burst when they thaw resulting in water damage to your center. Taking proactive measures will greatly reduce disruption to normal daily activities and any associated costs.
Insurance carriers report one of the leading property losses is due to water damage. Review the following tips with your maintenance personnel to ensure your center is in the best position to mitigate potential damage and disruption:
- In the fall, conduct a thorough inspection of your center paying special attention to:
- Insufficient insulation in walls, closets, attics, crawl spaces, basements or other concealed storage spaces
- Openings where cold air could enter
- Exposed water pipes
- Insufficiently heated interior areas
- Inspection of all heaters and furnaces
- Drain water piping that is not used during winter months
- Regularly inspect automatic sprinkler systems to ensure that they are operational.
- Maintain a minimum temperature of 40 F (4.4 C) in key building areas.
- Do not attempt to thaw pipes with an open flame.
- Verify the fuel levels in emergency generators.
- Confirm contact information for all vendors needed in the event of a disruption (i.e. water mitigation companies, heating companies, claims professionals).
The extreme cold and winter weather events can be an overwhelming setback. What often starts out as a small, undetected problem can quickly spread through a building and cause structural, operational and financial losses. Proper planning by following some of the recommendations outlined above may help mitigate water damage losses and allow your center to be up and running sooner. To learn more about protecting your center and managing your risk, contact the AssuredPartners Senior Living experts.
Sources: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and the American Red Cross