Is your rental housing ready for winter along with the outdoor faucet? The maintenance checkup this week provided by Keepe is to be sure you are your protecting your investment and income as well as your tenants.
If your rental property is occupied and your tenants are running the water, the risk of indoor pipes bursting is low.
However, the outdoor hose bibs are particularly vulnerable to freezing and breaking, especially during a cold night. Whether you are in the Midwest with below freezing temperatures or in the Pacific Northwest, where winters aren’t as frigid, cold can still spell trouble for your rental property.
Why do outdoor faucet hose bibs burst?
The physics is pretty simple. Outdoor faucets that are mounted on the outside wall still have water inside. When the temperature falls below zero, the water turns into ice.
Ice expands and occupies more space inside pipes. Depending on the age of the piping, this can result in the pipes bursting.
Why is this damage invisible?
Burst hose bibs often cause water damage invisible from plain sight, either in the drywall or in the basement.
This damage can be difficult to detect which leads to longer and deeper problems that require expensive repair.
What is the best prevention?
The easiest way to prevent outdoor faucets and hose bibs from freezing is by installing hose bib covers.
Hose bib covers create a buffer between the outdoor faucet and the cold air, and therefore keeps the faucet from freezing or bursting. They are about $10 at Home Depot and other stores. From a timing perspective, it is critical to install the cover before winter.
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Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. Keepe makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. The Keepe service is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at http://www.keepe.com