Building preparations for a freeze


  • Maintain contact with local Emergency Management office and/or National Weather Service for freeze warnings.
  • Allow heat into areas not getting warm air – open doors, cabinets, etc.
  • Move ceiling tiles to let warm air circulate to pipes above suspended ceilings.
  • Run HVAC continuously at a minimum of 50 degrees if temperatures stay cold for multiple days, consider increasing the temperature.
  • Any water pipes in or on outside walls should be allowed to run/drip.
  • Be sure all roof drains, scuppers and downspouts are free of debris.
  • Verify all outdoor plumbing, including irrigation is off and drained.
  • Be sure any chiller towers are drained.
  • Walk the building in the late evening to be sure all spaces are receiving heat.
  • Be sure all exterior openings are completely closed and locked.
  • Walk the building both days over a weekend.
  • Know where your water shutoff is located and the tools needed to turn the water off!
  • If you have any unwrapped exposed water pipes, insulate them as soon as possible.


  • Freezing can happen over time, be sure to keep checking!
  • Sudden cold snaps during wet weather can cause icing in mechanical units and on sidewalks and other pavement.
  • Rooftops are especially susceptible to damage if water is trapped and freezes.
  • Listen for leaks.
  • Have extraction equipment and water containment equipment and supplies available for emergencies.
  • Know your local restoration contractors.