Ten Ways to Protect Your Ministry from Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a leading source of property damage during severe winter weather. Take steps now to protect your ministry during a sudden cold snap. As winter approaches, this list offers additional tips to further protect your ministry.

During a sudden freeze

1. Run faucets

Let all faucets drip during extreme cold weather to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet.

2. Keep an eye on your thermostat

Make sure your heat is running and never set your thermostat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additional tips to consider before winter

3. Install a monitoring system

Install wireless monitors, such as Notion smart sensors, that provide notifications if the building’s temperature dips below a pre-determined number. The smart sensors can be placed near water sources to monitor for leaks.

4. Insulate pipes

Insulate pipes most vulnerable to freezing by using pipe insulation.

5. Seal cracks and penetrations

Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including fire protection lines, electrical conduit, and other utility service lines. Seal all windows, doors, and other openings on exterior walls with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.

6. Insulate and seal attic penetrations

Insulate and seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, and electric and mechanical chases.

7. Insulate recessed light fixtures

Insulate recessed light fixtures in the ceiling to reduce heat entering the attic. If the space above a suspended ceiling is conditioned, there is no need for added insulation or sealing.

8. Monitor sprinkler systems

Monitor sprinkler systems using a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure. Make sure to heat sprinkler control rooms.

9. Install an automatic excess flow switch

Install an automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve.

10. Provide backup power

Provide a reliable backup power source, such as a standby generator, to ensure continuous power and heat to the building.

For more information about protecting your property from winter weather, visit the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety website at https://disastersafety.org/winter-weather/

November 11, 2019