As we are all aware, the past several days across Oregon have been bitterly cold. We at PACE have already received several claims related to pipes breaking and water loss damage. PACE is dedicated to providing you, our members, with valuable information to help protect your buildings from damage during cold weather events, and inform you about what to do if that damage occurs.
Here are a few items to remember when preparing to reopen/occupy your buildings after this cold spell:
Assess the situation and make sure heating systems and water pipes are working.
Conduct a thorough inspection of your facilities, especially after the buildings have been unoccupied for several days to determine if water is leaking anywhere. Make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies to verify that water/sprinkler pipes are not broken.
Know where your shutoff valves are in the event you find a leak and need to shut off the water.
Clear drains of ice and snow to allow for the water to drain. If the roof is pitched and without drains, open paths to eaves to ensure drainage and prevent ponding.
Check pressure vessel vents, relief/safety valves to make sure parts are functional and openings are not obstructed.
Thaw frozen piping and equipment carefully to avoid damage. Do not use open flames; these are a fire hazard.
Have the names and phone numbers of your heating, plumbing, fire department, insurance agent, disaster recovery provider and PACE Claims Department.
District staff members need to limit their exposure to the cold, especially if it is windy. Many tasks can be divided into shorter segments to allow for warming breaks.