03 Dec The Freezing Temps Are Coming!
How prepared are you for this winters freezing temperatures?
With Alaska’s record breaking extreme temperatures occurring right now and into next week, here in Central Oregon, we’ll also be feeling the effects as it spreads down upon us. Which begs the question–how much have you prepared for winter?
In the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to forget a routine check up on your home, autos and even your pets homes! However, it’s important to take a few minutes and check because you could save yourself a lot of time, trouble and cash when it comes down to accidents occurring.
In the Home –
Nearly everyone has heard the old adage of leaving your faucets dripping in cold temperatures to ensure you don’t freeze up, but there are other things you can do to help out your home and save you on your heat costs.
Opening your cabinets, for circulation of heat to pipes that are otherwise closed off is beneficial in drops below zero outside. The pipes under kitchen sinks for instance, are usually butted up against an extremely cold load bearing wall outside, any extra heating help to those pipes will keep your water flowing!
Covering outside foundation vents or basement windows during the winter months will keep the heat in your home, right where you need it to be. Especially if your pipes are exposed, wrapping your pipes in an insulating cover will greatly help against frigid temperatures outside your home or any leaks you have due to your foundation vents. Be sure you’re thorough in your search of your pipes while you’re down there! Have you thought about checking your Laundry room lines? Bathroom lines are just as susceptible to the cold as the rest and could cause you similar issues! Another line that can be taken for granted is any water lines running to your refrigerator or Washers.
Utilize the use of a space heater, or heating lamp. Space heaters are a great way to add a little extra heat in spaces that need it in winter. Just be sure to follow the 3 foot rule; keep everything flammable away from heating element! This includes rugs, clothing and curtains. Be sure to use your heater on a hard, stable surface–and be certain to turn it off before leaving the home. Heat lamps are a great way to focus heat on a pipe or help your pets stay warm in their mini homes. Similar rules apply with them, as you don’t want anything flammable getting near the heating surface where it could burn. Make sure they are installed securely!
Check that thermostat; make sure that it is set ( even if not used primarily ) to at a minimum of 55 degrees. If you aren’t home to keep that wood stove going strong and we hit a cold snap, you’ll rest easier knowing when your home drops below 55 degrees–your pipes are safe!
Finally, one very important step is to know where your main water valve shut off is in your home or pump room. Familiarize yourself with this, because if you need to stop water from bursting all over your floors, this will save you big time– being able to respond quickly.
Sometimes, even with all of our preparations we miss something–
or something goes awry anyhow. If you do happen to have a pipe burst, and you’re at home to deal with it, go hit that main water valve shut off! As long as you get to the spill quickly, you can prevent damage from occurring to your furniture and flooring pretty simply. First though, be sure you do a check for anything electrical that could be a risk to your health. Is there a low outlet that water could seep into? How about a heater or fan on the floor that could electrocute you once it gets wet? These things are important to think about to keep you safe; be sure to turn off electricity to these outlets or the entire home before you proceed to unplug or move into the watered areas.
If everything checks out, there are ways to clear the spill and prevent further damage. Obviously you could use towels & mops to soak up excess moisture from rugs, carpets or hard floor surfaces– more easily cleaned are the non porous surfaces. But if you have a completely soaked carpet ( that hasn’t sat but a few moments ), you can take the carpet shampooer to it and suck up the spill or even a wet dry vac will be helpful in your situation. Fans will be your best-friend after you get all the water you can out of your room, set them in the room after you remove your furniture and adjust them on the highest setting possible. Better yet, if you have a dehumidifier and the time to watch it, you can help out the drying process quite a bit!
Of course we can’t always save it. Sometimes the damages couldn’t be helped because we weren’t home to catch them. When this is the case, give us a call, we’re happy to help you through this difficult process and get you going in the right direction again.
What if the pipes freeze under your home?
Heat lamps, hair dryers, portable heaters, and heat tape are all good ways for you to get the water flowing again when you freeze up. Be sure you open the faucets or valves to the frozen lines before you start thawing them out, the water will expand and needs an outlet!
Your Vehicle –
Not to be forgotten, your mode of transportation is also important to prepare for the coming cold snap. There are a few things you can do to ensure you get to work on time and without hold ups in the morning.
Change out your batteries; this is something that is recommended by mechanics for approximately every 3 years depending on your usage. The frigid temperatures will zap a car battery of it’s power quickly if it’s an older model. Take the time to check over your battery cables and see if they are loose, a solid connection is important for your battery to work properly. Also inspect the battery posts and cable clamps for corrosion as this will make a solid connection hard to attain as well.
Make sure that your spark plugs are in good shape, routine maintenance on your vehicle is key to it’s health. The Serpentine belt is generally easy to see from the front of the engine, it should be inspected for cracks and wear on the belt. Cold temperatures will make the rubber stiff and not as pliable, leading it to snap in cooler conditions.
Adding winterized window wiper fluid to your reservoir and running them will ensure you don’t crack any lines and are prepped for any freezing rain that coats your windshield. Top off your antifreeze if you haven’t had a flush in a while, this will keep things running smoothly.
Before you turn on your wipers to clear ice or snow this season, give them a chance to warm up with your window defrosters. Replace wipers that are worn from summer sun exposure and use, or last winters treatment of ice and snow.
Lastly, check your tire pressure. Using the label on the inside driver door panel, you can make sure you’re sitting where you need to for winter driving. Using the number on the side of your tire simply won’t work and can cause some huge issues as it’s the max inflation number. Air is condensed due to the cold weather and therefore when it warms again, you’ll be buying new set of shoes for your vehicle if not!
Let us help you!
That is what we’re here for, call us before making a claim and talk to us. We’re here to help you through your process and make sure that you are treated accordingly.
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If you need assistance, Call 800-4523-6826.
Have a wonderful day, and stay warm!