January 18, 2017

Pipes burst at this health care facility, flooding the floor with inches of water. The FM360 team handled all repairs with no disruption or downtime for employees or patients.

Freezing temperatures can affect all types of pipes, from water pipes to boilers to gas meters and everything in between. Here are 5 simple steps you can do right now to prevent frozen pipes in your facilities:

  1. Conduct preventive maintenance: The first and most important thing you can do to avoid frozen pipes is to have preventive maintenance done on your facilities and equipment, especially your heating equipment. Make sure your building is properly sealed and equipment is well insulated. The FM360 team can provide this kind of winter-maintenance expertise, and requesting this service now can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs and facility downtime.
  2. Check outside vents: Keeping outside vents clean and uncovered in the winter ensures vents are functioning properly, and avoids letting snow pile up and block vent openings during or after snow or ice removal. Blocked vents can lead to heating equipment malfunction, and malfunctioning heating equipment can lead to frozen or burst pipes.
  3. Check outside dampers: Confirm that outside dampers are closing properly. Open dampers can allow cold air into areas where it shouldn’t be, and can compromise boilers and other heating systems.
  4. Plan location of snow removal: Plan your snow removal in advance of cold weather. Know safe places to pile the snow before removing it. Make sure it’s not being dumped on an outside gas meter or in front of a vent.
  5. Check vacant or unused spaces: If you have vacant or unused space during the winter, take extra precautions to ensure the area is properly prepared for cold weather. Turn off water to those areas, or make sure they are properly heated. This is especially critical if no one is walking through that part of the facility frequently.

Do you need help with one or more of these areas? Just let us know and we’ll come to your facility right away to make sure your pipes and your facility are protected and ready.

Lessons Learned

City of ToledoA Downtown Toledo Office Building: An Overworked Boiler Leads to Complete Disaster

The FM360 team was called out to check on a broken boiler. The boiler was not functioning, and repairs were recommended. However, the customer chose to hold off on the necessary maintenance.

Because the building now had only one boiler to do the work of heating the entire building, it could not keep up when the temperatures plunged. That single functioning boiler shut down, causing the entire building to freeze. Pipes burst on every level, and the FM360 team was called in to manage the entire situation. The team took care of clean up, water removal and construction repairs as a result of water damage.

Following through on the above preventive maintenance could have saved this business from the bigger problems that resulted. Preventing frozen pipes is possible with proper planning.

Mud Hens 5/3 FieldToledo Mud Hens – Fifth-Third Field: Asking the right questions to avoid future problems

Fifth-Third Field has a beautiful private suite-level at their ballpark. With a minus 22 wind chill, the suite-level doors weren’t sealing properly and frozen pipes were a real possibility.

The FM360 team (which manages the entire facility) began to ask key questions such as: If the suite-level of the ballpark is rarely used in the winter, can we shut down water on this level? This led the team to reevaluate the area and make strategic winter changes. A new valve system was installed that allowed the water to be easily turned off in particular areas. Not only did this help prevent frozen pipes, but it also led to significant energy savings, since the heat could be turned off in those areas without fear of frozen pipes.

For the Mud Hens, having FM360 manage its property means not worrying about the impact winter weather can have on the ballpark.


Need help with preventive maintenance or other winter-related preparations? The FM360 team can help. Contact us now and we’ll make sure you’re ready for winter. For more information about FM360:

Schedule Facility Assessment 866.720.2700

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