With the cold weather setting in on Newfoundland and Labrador, it is important to keep your pipes in mind. Pipes bursting is one of the leading causes of property damage. Landlords with rental properties should communicate directly with their tenants on the threat of freezing pipes. It is crucial to provide clear, concise guidance to ensure tenants understand the threat and necessary steps to take action. Here are some tips you might consider sharing with your tenants:
Maintain Heating: Encourage tenants to keep the rental property heated to a reasonable temperature, especially during cold spells. Suggest a minimum temperature to prevent freezing.
Insulation: Highlight the importance of insulation. Ask tenants to notify you of any exposed pipes or areas that might need additional insulation, like attics, crawl spaces, or basements.
Run Faucets: Explain the concept of allowing faucets to run during extremely cold weather. This keeps water flowing and reduces the likelihood of pipes freezing.
Cabinet Doors: Advise tenants with pipes under sinks to keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
Notify Landlord of Issues: Encourage tenants to promptly report any issues they notice, such as reduced water flow or unusual sounds from pipes, as these might indicate a potential freeze.
Emergency Contacts: Provide emergency contact information, including plumbers or maintenance personnel, to reach out in case of a freezing pipe or a burst.
Tenant Responsibility: Clearly outline the tenant’s responsibilities regarding preventing frozen pipes. Emphasize the importance of their cooperation in maintaining a suitable temperature and promptly reporting any concerns.
Renter’s Insurance: Recommend that tenants consider obtaining renter’s insurance that covers damages caused by frozen pipes. Explain the benefits and coverage related to such incidents.
Instructions for Vacations: If tenants plan to leave the property during winter, provide guidelines on how to prepare, such as leaving the heating on or draining the system.
Regular Check-ins: Consider periodic check-ins or reminders during colder months to ensure that tenants are taking necessary precautions.
Disconnect and Drain Outdoor Hoses: Before winter, disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Shut off outdoor water valves to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes.
Heating Tape or Cable: Consider using heating tape or cable on vulnerable pipes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure safe use.
Keep Garage Doors Closed: If water supply lines are in your garage, keep the garage doors closed to maintain a warmer temperature.
Providing this information in a written document can serve as a reference for tenants and might help prevent potential issues caused by frozen pipes. Regular communication and clear instructions will contribute to a better understanding and cooperation from tenants in safeguarding the property.