Protect your property from the cold

The winter of 2022-2023 is off to a cold start this year and heading into the holidays the temperatures will hit a daily record low of -22C and stay cold until at least Christmas Eve.

Please take any and all steps you can to protect your property and your neighbours from damage related to the cold.

  • Turn up your thermostat to at least 17C – to prevent pipes, sprinklers and drains from freezing in walls, ceilings, floors, etc. If your property has a history of frozen pipes and drains then you may need to turn the temperature even higher.
  • Leave cupboards under sinks and closet doors to rooms with plumbing fixtures and hot water tanks to let warm air circulate around your pipes.
  • If your pipes are frozen or the flow is reduced, use space heaters to blow heat into the affected areas. If the water starts running again, keep the tap running at a trickle to prevent re-freezing. Please notify your strata agent if you have frozen pipes – it may be necessary to turn off your water until we can verify there are no leaks.
  • If your drains are backing up or moving slowly, pour boiling water down to break up any ice and keep your faucet running at a trickle to prevent ice from building up.
  • Turn on crawlspace and attic heaters where applicable.
  • Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and turn off exterior taps from inside your home when the shutoff is accessible. Do not use outdoor hose bibs from Nov. 1 to May 1.
  • If you use a fireplace to heat your house please don’t leave fires, candles or other flames unattended.
  • If you notice cold air coming through the bottom of an interior door, place an old towel or blanket along the base of the door to help block that draft, then arrange to have the weatherstripping replaced when things warm up again.

Most importantly, please be alert and pay special attention to areas around pipes, taps and sprinklers. A puddle on the floor can indicate that a pipe has frozen and split. When things warm up you could end up with a major flood.

Please also be aware of icicles accumulating along roof lines and take care on icy walkways and roads. At -20C, salt and gravel are far less effective.

If you can’t attend your unit to turn up the heat or check your taps, open your cupboards, etc., please reach out to your strata agent. As well, WRM does offer home care services and can check your unit on your behalf. You will need to sign a waiver and indemnity agreement.

WRM strongly recommends that all owners and tenants purchase insurance. The strata insurance policy only kicks in when a loss exceeds the deductible limit, and these days it’s rare for a deductible to be less than $25,000. It also doesn’t cover personal possessions, owner upgrades over the original base build, living out expenses, lost rental income, or other expenses not related to the common property or original construction.