How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing - Kelowna Property Advice - Article Banner

Winter is coming, and the maintenance plan you follow for your Kelowna rental property should include taking care of your pipes. When temperatures drop, there’s a risk that those pipes can freeze and burst. 

This type of plumbing issue is one of the most common causes of damage to homes and buildings during the colder months. 

Pipes are most likely to freeze in unheated areas of the home such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes behind your walls and under your sinks can freeze. 

Here’s how to prevent a frozen pipe problem. 

Kelowna Rental Home Pipe Maintenance

Here are some of the ways you can take care of your pipes and ensure they remain unfrozen:

  • Insulate your pipes. Exposed pipes are most likely to freeze. When you insulate them, they’re better protected and you’re more likely to keep your house dry and protected. 
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open. This way, warm air will surround the plumbing. 
  • Leave cold water dripping from faucets that are served by exposed pipes. When you keep even a minimal amount of water running through the pipe, it’s less likely to freeze. 
  • Set and forget your thermostat. When you keep the heat consistent throughout the day and night, your pipes will not suffer from the shock of colder air. 

Remind tenants to keep the heat on when they’re away from the property. 

Upgrading Insulation in Rental Properties 

Increase energy efficiency and prevent the risk of frozen pipes with better insulation in your property. When your attic, basement, and crawl space has good insulation, those spaces will stay warmer. You can also prevent drafts by sealing cracks and openings and ensuring the weather stripping is in good condition around your doors and windows. 

What to Do if Pipes Freeze 

Preventing frozen pipes needs to be your priority, but if your tenant calls to report a problem, these are the first steps you need to take:

  • Turn on the faucet. There will likely be only a trickle, but the idea is to heat the frozen pipe and get whatever ice is in there to melt. So, try to get any water running through your pipes. 
  • Apply whatever heat you can to the section of the pipe that has trapped ice or is holding water. You can wrap a heating pad around the pipe if you have one, and you can also blow hot air onto the pipe with a hair dryer. Portable space heaters are often used; just make sure they’re not placed near anything flammable. Wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water is also a good way to warm up those pipes. 
  • Continue using the heat source until the full water pressure is coming through the faucet. Walk through the property and check all the faucets to ensure there aren’t additional problems. 

If the pipe is not only frozen but it’s broken, you’ll want to turn the water supply off. Then, call a plumber. 

Frozen PipesThese are simple tips to avoid and deal with frozen pipes. If you’d like to hear more about winter maintenance for your Kelowna rental property, please contact us at Vantage West Property Management.