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Don’t Get Caught With Your Pipes Frozen: Quick Video for Landlords on How To Avoid Frozen Pipes in the Winter

With winter in full force, it is important to remember to take extra precautions to protect investment properties. When temperatures drop below freezing for three consistent days, properties are at risk for frozen water pipes.  Checking vacant properties every three days (throughout the colder months) will save a lot of headache and costly repairs in the long run.  Free standing, older homes are at greater risk than apartments and town homes, so get to those first.

The following is a quick checklist to assist landlords with this important process.

  • Check for any open windows.
  • Leave all interior and cabinet doors open for better air flow throughout the house.
  • Set furnace temperature between 45-55 degrees, make sure it kicks on, and check radiant (electric) heaters in every room.
  • Flush toilets and turn on all faucets (hot and cold) to make sure water is flowing freely.  Also, check lines in automatic ice makers and refrigerators (in extreme situations the water can be left on at a trickle to keep water constantly moving through the pipes).
  • Detach hoses on exterior of house.  Check for leakage around spigot.
  • Try to keep properties rented throughout the winter.

Even carefully managed properties may end up having problems with freezing throughout the winter months.

Here is a basic list of what to do if you have a frozen pipe.

  1. Shut off main water source and restore heat to the house.
  2. When the house is warm, turn on main water line and listen for any leakage.
  3. Check all exposed plumbing
  4. Do not turn on the main water line and leave the property without checking pipes and faucets.  This could result in costly repairs.


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