Coping with the cold

Monday, March 3, 2014

As temperatures across the country continue to hover at or near historic lows, homeowners and business owners need to focus on avoiding property damages during the cold snaps.

Keep indoor temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit, when possible. This will help keep pipes inside walls from freezing.

If you are a homeowner, remind those in your household where to find the main water shutoff valve in case of emergency.

If you are a renter or a business owner, be sure you have the contact information for your maintenance crew on hand in case of a burst pipe.

Turn on hot and cold taps just enough to keep them dripping slowly.

Keep cabinet doors underneath sinks open during extremely cold spells. This allows the warm air from a room to circulate around the pipes.

Disconnect all garden hoses from outside faucets and spigots. Shut off valves to these spigots from the crawlspace, if possible.

Close the flue in your fireplace when it is not in use, and, of course, always double-check to ensure your flue is open before starting a fire in the fireplace.

If you plan to leave your home unattended for several days, have a friend or neighbor stop in to check on your residence. Undiscovered burst pipes can lead to catastrophic flood and mold damage inside your home.

Beware of ice dams in gutters near downspouts.

Most importantly, think Spring! At the speed time now travels in our busy lives, it won't be long.