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COLD WEATHER MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS | MN BUILDINGS

Below freezing temperatures are nothing new for Minnesota. We are used to going days on end without getting above the freezing mark. Still, it pays to be prepare your facility for this cold weather. We want to share some important things to remember when the thermometer dips below zero.

Frozen Pipes

Heating Tips:

  • Set programmable thermostats on HOLD. You may not be able to recover the higher temperature, so it’s best to keep it constant.
  • Be sure your filter is clean and not obstructing airflow. Your equipment will likely be running more and you don’t want it to shut down prematurely if the air flowing through it is restricted.
  • If your heating equipment vents outside, make sure the intake and exhaust vents are clear of snow and ice. Ice can build up during cold temperatures.
  • If the equipment can’t keep the inside temperature where it’s set, don’t panic. As long as it is still running, it’s doing the best it can. Most heating systems will struggle to overcome temperatures 20-30 degrees below what the equipment is designed to handle.
  • Keep garage doors closed.

Plumbing Tips:

  • Make sure no hoses are attached to outside faucets since they will trap water that can freeze and burst the pipe.
  • If you have outside faucet shut-offs inside, it’s a good idea to shut them as well.
  • If you have a crawl space, make sure it is insulated properly to eliminate cold air from infiltrating around pipes.
  • Sinks located on an outside wall should have the lower cabinet doors open to allow more heat around the pipes.
  • You can run a small trickle of water through fixtures to keep the water moving and relieve the buildup of pressure inside plumbing.

If the above tips still don’t prevent your pipes from freezing, here’s what needs to be done:

  • Shut off the water immediately at the main shut-off valve.
  • Thaw pipes slowly with warm air from a hair dryer or space heater.
  • Once the pipes are thawed, you can slowly turn the water back on and check for any cracks or leaks that might have been caused by freezing.

With the proper preparation and knowledge, you will be ready for whatever winter brings. If you own or manage a multi-housing facility, make sure you share this information with your tenants as well.

For more information on cold weather preparation for your commercial building, call Building Maintenance Management at 763-541-4886 or Contact Us. Stay warm!