It’s That Time of Year Again

Learn how to lower the likelihood of a major water damage loss occurring inside your church’s property(ies).

Church 4

Read a few measures to help protect your church from experiencing indoor pipe bursts.

January. The coldest, snowiest month in Ohio, historically. As Christmas and holiday decorations are stowed away by church members, this is an opportune time for your church to revisit winter preparations and safeguards.

Your church building is your church home. Eyes-and-ears building checks should be regular, as well as fingertip access to a list of contacts for maintenance and repairs. Your church’s building committee should be aware of the characteristics and circumstances of its own building(s), and be mindful of those specifics in conjunction with regular building(s) checks.

Winter weather in Ohio presents additional, troublesome conditions that contribute to potential property loss. Water damage due to indoor pipe bursts has been both a major disruption and major expense to church properties. Your church can help protect against major property loss due to indoor pipe bursts by paying attention to and enforcing very practical safeguards.

  • Maintain adequate heat in the building(s) at all times. A rule of thumb is to set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, indoor pipes have burst even when the rule of thumb was followed. Consider a higher temperature setting, depending on weather conditions and the specific characteristics of your church’s building(s).
  • Insulate attics and crawl spaces to prevent heat escape.
  • Tightly close and latch all windows and doors to the outside. Under the right weather conditions, exposure in terms of duration and proximity, and/or preventive measures in place, small drafts and cold air leaks may facilitate the freezing of indoor pipes.
  • Properly insulate pipes. Contact a licensed plumber and your local hardware store for recommended insulation products, such as foam pipe sleeves.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
  • If a pipe freezes, open the faucets to relieve pressure, which will reduce the chance of a pipe bursting. Also, increase the temperature in the room. Depending on the situation, consider contacting a licensed plumber for further guidance.
  • Never attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with a torch. Not only does this present a serious fire danger, it also presents severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
  • If a pipe bursts, turn off the water immediately at the main shut-off valve and contact a licensed plumber. Make sure all staff knows where the main shut-off valve is and has been trained to shut off the water. The affected building(s) should be continuously monitored until pipes are repaired, water is restored, and flowing properly.
  • Install temperature and water alert sensor systems that signal a problem or problems exists in the heating system and/or water is leaking. These systems pay for themselves in reduced property insurance rates and reduced headaches that accompany coping with extensive property damage.

Richey-Barrett Insurance is your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent for church insurance. Our resources include access to a comprehensive loss control program for your church. Call us today.

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