Winterize Your School
To properly seal up and winterize your school before everyone leaves for
winter break, follow these steps.
1. Do a Gutter and Downspout Cleaning
Clean gutters and downspouts are the key to all things water
damage-related. Making sure your school’s gutters are clear from dirt,
leaves, and other debris will ensure that melting snow, rain, and ice will
freely flow down through your gutters and away from your facility. Clogged
gutters and downspouts will prevent snow and ice from passing through and
create ice dams, which can lead to further roof, siding, and water damage.
2. Conduct a Roof Check
Winter weather damage can occur from damaged roofs. Check your school’s
roof for damage shingles or tiles, as well as cracks or holes. Repair or
replace all damaged areas. If you can’t get on your facility’s roof, hire
a professional like Alpha Omega.
3. Insulate Pipes from Freezing
Most of school facility’s flooding issues are caused by frozen pipes. To
prevent this, add insulation (or even extra insulation) to all pipes,
especially those connecting to the outside or running through uninsulated
areas like a crawlspace, parking garage, attic, cupboard, or closet.
4. Turn Off Main Water Shut Off Valve
Shut off all cut-off valves on exterior faucets, disconnect hoses, and
wrap exterior spigots to insulate and winterize them from the cold. Shut
the main water shut off valve to prevent water from flowing to cafeteria
appliances, hoses and pipes to avoid freezing.
5. Turn on the Heat
You may think that because no one will be in the building that you should
turn off the heat to save money. However, if the building temperature
falls below 55F, it can lead to pipes freezing and bursting, which can
lead to water damage and mold growth. Prop open cabinets and doors where
deemed necessary, and consider turning your faucets on a steady drip to
prevent the lines from freezing.
6.Clean and Service Furnace
Have a professional come out and test the furnace regularly, including
once before break. The professional can make sure the filter is changed,
the furnace is fully functioning, and that there’s no strong odor.
Cleaning and maintaining the furnace will lessen the likelihood of fire
damage if it gets too hot or frozen pipes if it ceases to work, allowing
the building to get too cold.
7.Check Smoke Detector Batteries
Before you leave, make sure all of your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide
detectors, emergency lighting and exit sign bulbs are in good working
order. Your smoke detectors should be tested every month and replaced
after 10 years. Try to test them as close to winter break as possible to
lessen the chance that their batteries will stop working while the
facility is closed.
Snow Removal Plan
In Montana, you never know how much snow will come down during winter
break. To prevent any unnecessary snow and ice issues, have a snow removal
plan for your facility. This may mean having a snow blower or tractor
ready to go, or contracting snow removal services. Have snow and ice
melting product available, and hire a crew or person to place it around
the school property when snow falls.