Winterproofing your business premises if unoccupied during Covid-19 restrictions

Businesses are facing the uncertainty of continued restrictions during the current phase of this public health emergency. We would like to assure you that, in partnership with the Local Authorities nationwide, we’re working hard to maintain your essential drinking water and wastewater services in line with the HSE and Department of Health advice and guidance.

During the recent cold spell we experienced sub-zero temperatures over several days, increasing the number of frozen water pipes and bursts. Business owners can help avoid these issues, expensive repairs and a disrupted water supply, by taking a few preventative measures.

While many business premises are unoccupied for extended periods during Covid-19 restrictions, it is important to continue the regular maintenance of your buildings during the winter months in particular. There are a couple of ways to turn off water in your premises; it can be done by turning off the mains at the stopcock or closing the valve alongside the meter in the boundary box.

While premises are unoccupied, it is even more important to regularly check buildings for leaks both inside and outside and to fix any external dripping taps as the water can freeze on the ground with the potential to cause slips and falls.

If you are looking for further advice or support to assist in the maintenance of your water system, there are privately-operated commercial water services and leak detection businesses which offer a range of support services.

Alternatively, if the water system is left operational, you may consider setting the heating to come on periodically at a lower temperature. This allows warm air to circulate, and will help prevent pipes and tanks from freezing in the cold weather. Opening internal doors to allow warm air to circulate throughout unheated areas of the building can also help prevent pipes and tanks from freezing. Make sure your internal and external water pipes and water tanks are well-insulated. Running your taps continuously will not necessarily prevent pipes from freezing and may cause flooding.

Business Owners and Maintenance teams can learn more on how to deal with the cold weather conditions here and here.