Winter Disasters: How Property Management Teams Can Prepare

Restorcore Blog

Attention Property and Maintenance Managers: Winter, with its serene snowscapes, also ushers in potential challenges for buildings and properties that can result in large winter disasters. Hoping to avoid another frozen pipe situation on your property? Want to get ready for the inevitable snow heading our way this season? This guide outlines key winter-related concerns and offers strategies to effectively address them.

Potential Winter Disaster #1 – Frozen and Burst Pipes

Why is this critical?

Pipes can freeze when water within turns to ice. As ice expands, it might cause the pipes to rupture, leading to significant water spillage.

Pro-Tip: What can you do to prevent frozen pipes?

  • Insulate: Use insulation to protect pipes, particularly in colder zones such as basements.
  • Maintain flow: On extremely cold days, allow a slight drip from taps to prevent water stagnation.
  • Cabinet circulation: During colder nights, open cabinet doors under sinks to ensure warm air circulation around the plumbing.

Potential Winter Disaster #2 – Roof Damage and Ice Dams

Why is this critical?

When snow melts and then re-freezes, it can form ice dams, which prevent water from draining off the roof. This can lead to water seepage into the property, causing damage.

Pro-Tip: What preventative measures can you take?

  • Have a roofing professional perform regular roof inspections and check for damaged shingles, weak spots, or other vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure your attic is well insulated and properly ventilated, and that heat is not escaping through your roof.
  • Claer snow promptly, following a storm.

Potential Winter Disaster #3 – Water Intrusion

Why is this critical?

Excessive water, whether from broken pipes, ice dams, or thawing snow, can cause substantial property damage.

Pro-Tip: What preventative measures can you take?

  • Gutter maintenance: As we leave the fall season, ensure gutters are devoid of blockages (like falling leaves) to facilitate efficient water drainage.
  • Roof assessment: Prior to winter, conduct a thorough roof examination to detect and rectify vulnerabilities.
  • Sump pump evaluation: If available, ascertain your sump pump’s operational status, ensuring it can manage potential water accumulation.

Potential Winter Disaster #4 – Heating System and Chimney Complications

Why is this critical?

Obstructed chimneys can result in hazardous indoor conditions. Malfunctioning heating systems not only compromise comfort but also pose fire risks.

Pro Tip: What preventative measures can you take?

  • Annual inspections: Engage professionals to evaluate and service chimneys and heating systems ahead of winter.
  • Ensure chimney clearance: Confirm the chimney is free from obstructions to ensure safe and effective usage.
  • Heating system maintenance: Regularly replace filters and address any identified inefficiencies.

Potential Winter Disaster #5 – Excessive Snow Weight on Roofs

Why is this critical?

Substantial snow accumulation on roofs, especially those with flat or gentle slope, can strain their structure capacity and lead to large winter disasters.

Pro-Tip: What are some steps to take immediately following a heavy snowfall?

  • Consistent roof monitoring: Following significant snowfall, visually assess the roof’s condition from a safe vantage point.
  • Snow removal: If snow accumulation appears excessive, consider enlisting professionals for safe removal.

Winter on the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic Region presents specific winter disasters that can impact property integrity. By adopting these recommended precautions, you’ll be well-positioned to safeguard your properties and ensure their sustained functionality and safety during the cold season.

Want to learn more about the science behind frozen pipes, how to prevent them from freezing and how to respond if pipes on your property do burst? Join us for a 60-minute RestoreCore University Webinar on December 5th at 11:00am! Registration in advance is required – CLICK HERE to join us!

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