Prevent Freezing Pipes
As outside temperatures continue to drop overnight, the likelihood of freezing pipes increases. As it is all about prevention, there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk of freezing pipes.
Inside, check to ensure the heat is circulating throughout all the rooms of the house. Open cabinet doors so heat can get to the plumbing fixtures on exterior walls.
Drip faucets to keep pipes from freezing and bursting. Moving water keeps pipes from freezing.
Outside pipes, pipes adjacent to outside walls or pipes in unheated places are most likely to freeze. Check for proper pipe insulation and that heat tape is working, if applicable. Heat tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, suppling heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm during cold spells.
Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls and eliminating drafts near doors. Pipes that are located in basements or attics may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe but it does not add heat to the pipe.
If you plan to be away during the cold weather, leave the heat on in your home.
Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.
If you do experience an issue, get help from a professional. Pipes warmed too fast may break and cause larger problems. Do not try to thaw a pipe with a torch or open flame.
Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings
I just wanted to share a story that occurred this afternoon that will hopefully serve as a cautionary tale to always be aware of your surroundings. A resident pulled into their driveway and parked the car in the garage. A service vehicle without a front license plate pulled into the driveway and the driver approached the resident and said that they were with the city public works department and needed to enter the home to check the water pressure. The resident noted that the vehicle was not a city truck and the individual did not have a city uniform or personal identification. The driver remained persistent and even attempted to follow the resident into the residence before the resident yelled and waved an object at the person. Fortunately, the resident closed and locked the front door and the person posing as a city employee quickly jumped into his vehicle and sped away. We have not had a rash of such incidents in town, but this type of thing can happen anywhere as a crime of opportunity. Please know that all city public works employees drive a marked vehicle with city seal, wear a municipal uniform and would never take offense to someone requesting an ID or to call to verify.
Stay Warm and Keep Well