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News & Newsletters

Extreme Cold Weather Tips

Follow These Extreme Cold Weather Tips & Tricks

 

Cold Weather
1. Plumbing: This time of year, the winds are brisk, and are just another reminder that winter is right around the corner. Now is the time to ask yourself…Is your home plumbing ready for the sudden change in temperature? If you’re not sure, now is the time to take necessary steps avoiding a messy, and undoubtedly costly plumbing issue.

  • Protect/Wrap your pipes from freezing. If water has the opportunity to freeze inside your pipes, the expanding water creates added pressure and can cause your pipes to burst, flooding your home and ruining your belongings. You should protect the un-insulated pipes on outside walls of your home, by wrapping these pipes in foam tubes. This is a simple and inexpensive way to minimize exposure on the extra chilly days & nights. You can find this pipe insulation at your local home improvement store.
  • Fix water leaks ASAP. Complete a comprehensive check of all the faucets in your bathrooms, kitchen, and utility room. Look for any drips or puddles. If you have a leak, you can purchase repair kits from your home improvement store, or it may be a “good time” to replace your faucets. (It’s never really a good time, but you know what we mean!)
  • Bring in your outdoor hoses. Leaving garden hoses connected outside in the cold can cause the water inside the hose to freeze, expand, and ultimately freeze your faucets and connecting pipes as well. Disconnecting the hose from the spigot can help keep any damage limited to the hose, but it’s best to bring them inside.
  • Close and your drain your home’s shut-off valves that lead outside. Water that remains inside the lines and freezes can lead to major plumbing damage. Close the shut-off valve, then open the spigot to let out any remaining water, and relieve any pressure. Another good option is to purchase outdoor spigot covers. These help insulate the spigot from the cold, and can keep them from freezing.
  • KNOW, for sure, you know where the water shut off valve is for your home, and how to use it.
  • Know a plumber you can call if you notice that you have water that has stopped running, in a sink, bathtub or outdoors.
  • Watch to make sure your drains do not freeze and overrun your sink or tub.
  • When the temperatures begin to drop below 14 degrees and you are not using sinks, showers, tubs, etc. regularly, you will want to run water in your sinks/tubs. You need to run them fast enough to keep the flow going through the night when the water pressure drops. Remember to run the hot water too. Hot water lines freeze faster than cold water lines. When you get up in the morning and need hot water, turn off all the hot water faucets, give it about 20 minutes and you will be able to bathe, etc.
  • If you have metal pipes coming to your sinks and you notice that one of your lines has stopped running, it is frozen and will burst. If you have a hand-held hair dryer, you can sit down below the sink and place the hair dryer on those lines (it will take awhile) to thaw the line to keep it from freezing. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD ON PVC LINES. If the line is frozen, do not shut the faucet off. Leave it open. Hopefully it will thaw and begin to run again. If you shut it down, it will burst.

2. Temperature: Make sure that your heat is kept at 67 degrees at minimum during the very cold. If your home is vacant, you MUST have heat on to help protect it.

3. Be Careful: Make sure that you are careful on steps and the sidewalks, especially early in the mornings. There could be icy spots that have frozen and could be an accident waiting to happen.

4. Maintain Airflow: Keep your doors between rooms open so that there is adequate air flow throughout the unit.

  • Keep cabinet doors open in kitchen and baths to allow the warm air to circulate around the water pipes.
5. Know Thy Neighbor: Make sure you know where your neighbors are and how to reach them in case you notice a problem at a neighbor’s home.

6. Antifreeze: Make sure you have adequate anti-freeze in your vehicles. Be sure to give your vehicle time to warm up when you start it when it is this cold.

7. Car Care: Warm up your vehicle a little longer on very cold days but do not keep the garage door closed when you do. Open it to allow the carbon monoxide to escape.

8. Fire Safety: Do not overload your fireplace.

9. Safe Heat: Never use a generator or grill in a room or in the garage to help stay warm.

10. Contact Family: Stay in contact with elderly friends and neighbors who might need your assistance to insure their home stays warm and safe.

11. Be Covered: Make sure your insurance policy is up to date in case you have damages.

Please Stay Warm & Safe