Pipes, when left unprotected, can pose significant problems. As we approach the expected extreme cold, it is crucial to take the necessary measures to safeguard your home from potential damage caused by the bitterly cold temperatures. One of the main tasks homeowners face is ensuring the protection of outdoor pipes that are exposed to the cold. Proper insulation can prevent costly damage and the inconvenience of being without water.
Bobby Terrell, an expert from Jon Wayne Service Company, advises homeowners without conventional insulation to use a simple solution like an old rag or bath towel to wrap their pipes and provide insulation from the cold. In addition to insulation, it is recommended to turn faucets on and let them drip, as well as knowing how to shut off the water in case of an emergency. By taking these precautions, the flow of water into your home can be stopped before further damage occurs.
To avoid freezing and bursting pipes, it is important to avoid common mistakes such as turning off the heat when you are not at home. Instead, lower the temperature to keep the pipes above freezing until you return. Furthermore, leaving windows open for air circulation should be avoided, as pipes near windows are more prone to freezing. Failing to insulate your pipes also increases the likelihood of freezing due to the presence of cold air.
Another potential problem arises from failing to disconnect outdoor hoses, as standing water can cause the hose or the spigot to burst. Additionally, leaving outside vents open in areas like the attic or crawlspace allows cold air to infiltrate the home. When using space heaters, it is crucial to ensure proper usage, particularly in rooms with good ventilation. Some space heaters emit gases that can be deadly, so caution must be exercised to prevent accidents during the night.
The most dangerous aspect of heating a home is carbon monoxide, as it is odorless and invisible, making it easy to be poisoned by it. Installing a carbon monoxide monitor can help avoid any unfortunate incidents. When facing threats of ice, it is important to protect not only people, pets, and pipes but also trees and anything under their canopy. Newly planted trees are especially vulnerable to damage caused by the expansion of moisture within their cell walls as they freeze.
To prevent plants from freezing, Canopy.org suggests covering susceptible trees and plants with burlap, sheets, or tarps that extend to the ground. Keeping plants well watered is also recommended, as most soil retains water and re-radiates heat at night. Removing turf or weeds from the canopy of trees and using wood chip mulch can help absorb and reflect heat better, preventing soil moisture loss and insulating roots.
Jess Devin from Davey Tree highlights the importance of avoiding direct contact between mulch and the trunk, with a thickness of about two to three inches being optimal for protecting the root system from colder weather. If you choose to cover your plants, remember to remove the covering as soon as the temperature rises above 32 degrees to prevent scorching the plants with excessive heat.
In conclusion, taking the necessary precautions to protect your home from extreme cold is essential. By insulating pipes, preventing freezing, and safeguarding trees and plants, you can minimize the risk of damage and inconvenience caused by the bitterly cold temperatures. Stay safe and take the necessary steps to ensure the well-being of your home and surroundings.