Here are 3 steps to help deal with tenants and frozen pipes and hopefully avoid the problem in your rentals and the maintenance calls that can result this winter from Keepe.
No. 1 – The preventative methods for tenants and frozen pipes
There are several things that property managers should do to prevent pipes from freezing in their rentals.
Give your tenants specific notice to keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open at all times during freezing weather, and be sure any garage doors are closed. Keeping these doors open allows warm air from the house to enter under cabinets and sinks.
Allow the cold water to drip from the faucets, and be sure your tenants keep the thermostat set to the right temperature.
You may want to consider adding some insulation in key areas as a long-term solution if your keep getting repeat problems with frozen pipes.
No. 2 – Thawing after it happens
If the prevention fails and you end up with tenants and frozen pipes, here are a few tips to identify and thaw frozen pipes in your properties:
- When a faucet is turned on and only a few drops of water come out, it is highly likely that the pipes are already frozen.
- Do not rush into warming the pipes because if the water thaws, there might be risks of the water flooding your property.
- The right approach to take in this situation is to turn off the water source at the meter, and heat the sections of the pipes where the freezing has started in order to thaw them.
No. 3 – Time to call the professionals
If you suspect that there is a bigger problem than the frozen pipes that can be fixed with a little heating, it is definitely advised for property managers to call in professional plumbers. They will have the right tools to assess the frozen pipes and determine whether they should be thawed or repaired.
If your tenants failed to take the preventative steps outlined above, you may want to add something into your leases (if it is not already there) about responsibility for frozen pipes and who pays the bill if preventative steps are not taken.
Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at https://www.keepe.com