As the winter months approach, there are certain steps you can take to prevent your home or apartment’s pipes from freezing. The sooner you get started, the better chance you will have of not getting caught off guard by the frigid weather.
The tenant is responsible for winterizing their home. As such, here are a few useful tips for you to consider in order to prevent any plumbing emergencies:
- All hoses should be disconnected from outside faucets.
- Shut off the outside faucets’ valves. They are usually located under a sink or in the garage or crawlspace. Then, turn on outside faucets to drain the lines.
- Maintain indoor heat to a minimum of 50 degrees in freezing weather. This includes the interior of pump houses for homes on a well. Please put a space heater in your pump house.
- Open the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks during especially cold nights.
- Open taps allowing faucets to slowly drip each night.
- Any exposed pipes (outdoors and not underground) should be drained of all water and wrapped to prevent freezing.
- For homes with crawlspaces, please ensure that all exterior crawlspace vents and access points are closed.
- If you will be away from your home during a time when freezing weather is a possibility (ex. Holiday travelers), please leave with your home prepared for the coldest weather possible, and ask a friend/neighbor to check on your house after especially cold nights.
In case of frozen or broken pipes: Turn the water off at the main shut off valve immediately. This may be located at the street in front of the house, or inside the home where the water enters from the street or well. If water is gushing, please call any plumber yourself immediately. You can also request emergency assistance by calling the local water company (numbers below) during business hours. In the event of an emergency, contact John Howard & Associates Property Management AFTER you’ve contacted a plumber, or if you are having trouble contacting one. The phone number to contact us in an emergency is 541-663-7187.
Note that if your property has not been appropriately winterized, you will be responsible for any water damage and damage caused to plumbing. Please follow these steps to ensure your home is ready for winter. Contact us or your local public works office if you have any questions.