How do I prepare the property for freezing temperatures?

When severe subfreezing weather is in the forecast, it's important that you take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of you and the property. Water pipes in our apartment community may freeze and break unless we ALL act quickly. If any pipes freeze, we may have to cut off the water to entire buildings. If there are widespread pipe breakages across the city, it could be days before we can get hot and cold water back on in your unit.

So please help.

IMMEDIATE ACTION. Please take the following precautions in advance of and during times of subfreezing forecasted weather.

1. Leave the heat on 24 hours a day at a temperature setting of no less than 50 degrees. Keep all windows closed. Be sure to leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink and bathroom sink(s) open to allow heat to get to the plumbing. It is especially important to open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

2. Drip the faucet 24 hours a day at a steady 6 - 12 drip of about drops per minute. This includes cold and hot water inside on your furthest away faucet from your source your water as well as all outside faucets. There is no need to continue to drip faucets when above freezing temperatures.

3. If you have washer/dryer units in your apartment, especially those located on any outside patio or in any outside closet, follow these steps to help prevent those water lines from freezing and breaking:

  • Turn both the hot and cold water lines off.
  • Disconnect these water lines from the back of your washing machine.
  • Place both water lines into the drainpipe behind the washing machine.
  • Turn both water lines back on 24 hours a day at a steady 5 - 10 drip of about drops per minute.
  • When you want to wash clothes, remember to reconnect the water lines.

4. Leave all drains open, including sinks and bathtubs. Bring in potted or hanging plants.

5. Know where your property water cut-off valve is located and how to use it in case of emergency.

6. Notify management ASAP if you notice any water running from a building or from under your walls.

7. Remember to be careful about ice and snow on steps and sidewalks.

8. Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home. 

As authorized in the TAA Lease Contract, the management may be entering the apartments for spot checks. When others in the city drip their faucets, water pressure may drop, and you may have to open your faucets some more.

DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY AND RENTER’S INSURANCE. If the pipes in your dwelling or in the units above or next to you freeze and break, there can be substantial water damage to (1) your property, (2) other residents’ property (clothes, furniture, stereos, TVs, etc.) and (3) the owner’s property (carpets, walls, etc.). You could be liable for such damages (and any related damages caused by mold or mildew) if you
have negligently failed to take proper precautions. This is especially important if you and your neighboring residents do not have insurance to cover such damage. The casualty insurance on the apartment owner’s building cannot legally cover damages to other people’s property. You are encouraged to buy renter’s insurance to cover unexpected damage to your personal belongings from water, fire and similar hazards.

Thank you for your prompt and continuous cooperation regarding this potentially serious time. 

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