Cold Temperatures 101
It's that time of the year again and winter is in full swing. If you live in the northern part of the U.S. chances are, you're no stranger to the cold weather and all that it brings. With the year starting off with colder and wetter than normal conditions, there are many cold weather safeguards to consider in order to protect your home.
How to Protect your Pipes from Freezing:
Aim to keep the temperature in your home around 65 degrees (no lower than 55 degrees). The temperature within the walls (where your pipes are) is always colder than the walls themselves. Keeping the temperature below 65 degrees will not prevent the pipes inside the walls from freezing.
Leaving home for a few days? Open the cupboard doors below your sink to allow the warm air to circulate and remember to keep your heat on, no lower than 55 degrees. It's also a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to prevent a water leak from going unnoticed.
Turn on hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip. The moving water will prevent freezing.
If you have an attached garage, keep the door closed as much as possible to keep the warm air in.
Insulate exposed pipes under the house.
How to Protect your Home:
Disconnect and drain garden hoses to prevent freezing.
Cover outside faucets with insulated foam covers.
Turn off water to outside faucets, (including any sprinklers) and open valves to allow them to drain.
Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free of snow and ice.
Add additional insulation to your attic and basement.
Remove snow from basement window wells.
Make sure gutters are clear of debris so melting snow and ice can freely flow down.
Ensure downspouts slope away from your home and can carry water at least 5 feet away from the foundation.
Remove dead tree branches surrounding your home that may break from cold temperatures.
According to The Michigan Commitee for Severe Weather Awareness, an eighth-inch crack in a pipe is all that it takes to leak up to 250 gallons of water a day.
Other Helpful Reminders:
Setting the icemaker in your freezer to make ice will keep movement in the water line, which keeps it from freezing.
Remember, both plastic (PVC) and copper pipes can freeze and burst.
Don't forget to check the pipes in your washing machine! Depending on the location of your laundry room, this could be crucial!
Know where the water main cut-off is and how to turn it off in case of emergency.
In case of accidential flooding, remember to call the professionals to take care of the job the right way. Save yourself the time and hassle and choose a company that works with your insurance company to make sure the job is done right, the first time!
If your Pipes Freeze:
If you turn your faucet on and nothing comes out, call a plumber.
If you think your pipes have frozen, turn the water main off.
Never thaw a frozen pipe using a torch or open flame. You may try to thaw a frozen pipe with warm air from a hair dryer by warming the pipe closest to the faucet first, then working towards the coldest section of the pipe.
Remember to never use electical appliances in areas of standing water to avoid electrocution.
If you're in need of emergency services, Clean Team USA now offers 24/HR Water Restoration Services by calling 517-204-2776.