Even though we’ve been having some unseasonably warm temperatures lately, it’s no secret that winter is just around the corner. While we might be in the double digits above zero today, it’s not a big stretch to imagine that we could hit subzero temperatures within a couple of days. And even though the days are warmer, the evenings and nights are getting pretty chilly with overnight temperatures approaching the freezing mark.
Now is a great time for property managers to think about winterizing their condo and apartment buildings. Whether you’re going to try and do it yourself or bring in your professional plumbing company, whoever does the work will appreciate doing it before the colder temperatures arrive!
Here is a short list of three areas that you should think about including when winterizing your building.
Parking Lots and Ramps
Canadian winters can be unpredictable at the best of times. We can go from extreme cold to unseasonably warm overnight. This can lead to rapid melting and flash flooding, or if the temperature goes from warm to cold quickly, flash freezing.
Make sure the drains and troughs in your parking lots and ramps are cleaned out. Drains and troughs can get blocked and clogged by leaves falling from the trees and general garbage blowing around.
Clogged or blocked drains can lead to flooding in your parking lot or worse – pooled water can turn into dangerous icy conditions if the weather turns cold. And even if there isn’t any thawing or melting during the winter, there will be the spring thaw in April or May of next year that your drains and troughs will have to do deal with.
Also, take some time to wrap and/or heat trace any piping that is exposed to the wind or is located in unheated underground parking lots. Water pipes can burst if they are frozen, leading to a huge mess to clean up and expensive repair costs.
Check that your fire system is dry and that there hasn’t been a buildup from condensation that could freeze and reduce the effectiveness or even damage your fire system. Open the drain ports and drain any water buildup, but remember to close them when you’re done!
Also, check your compressor to make sure it is running efficiently.
Exterior Hose Bibs
If you have any exterior hose bibs, make sure there are no hoses connected and that the interior valve is turned off. Once the interior valve is shut off, open the exterior bib valve and drain any water out of the external pipe.
Even though the supply pipe is inside and not exposed to the colder outside temperatures, extreme cold temperatures and strong cold winds can still freeze water in the bib, possibly leading to a burst pipe.
When winter is over and spring brings warmer temperatures, remember to close the exterior bib valve before opening the interior valve otherwise you might waste a lot of water!
If there is a hose connection vacuum breaker connected to the threaded portion of the hose bib you will need to push the little stem in the middle of the HCVB to release any water that may still be in the pipe. If there is a small capped drain port on the interior valve, remove it and drain as water may still be in the pipe.
Finally, make sure you fully drain any hoses that will be exposed to freezing temperatures because even though they don’t have running water in them, they could still be damaged if water in them expands when it freezes.
Need a Professional to Winterize Your Building?
Call Us, We’d Love to Help!
These are only a few things that you need to do as part of winterizing your building, and while those only seem like a few simple tasks, it can be a lot of work in larger buildings. If you need a professional plumbing company to help with these jobs and anything else you do to winterize your condo or apartment building, call Dacord Plumbing! We provide professional plumbing services to condo, apartment, commercial and residential buildings. Our plumbers are fully licensed and insured and we provide fast affordable service that you can trust!