The start of Fall means one thing – Winter is just around the corner. Whether you love the snow and cold, or would rather hibernate until Spring, it’s inevitable that freezing temperatures and heavy storms are coming our way. Though Fall has yet to reach its halfway mark, we at Soucy Insurance believe it’s never a bad idea to be prepared.
Winter is guaranteed to bring freezing temperatures and slippery roads. Therefore, we are providing you with preventative and effective actions you can take to both avoid and repair two common incidents caused by winter weather: frozen pipes and icy walkways.
In the winter, frozen pipes can lead to expensive repairs and property damage. In order to prevent these from happening, the best measure to take is insulating the pipes in your home. This will help keep the pipes warmer by preventing radiant heat loss along your hot water pipes. Be aware that pipes in or near outside walls are the most susceptible for freezing, so pay the most attention to these over the course of the winter.
If you plan to leave your home for any length of time, do not set your thermostat lower than 62°F. The warmer your living space is, the warmer the unheated areas of your home will stay and the less likely you are to experience a frozen or burst pipe.
Be very careful of pipes that enter the home from outside. Every fall, close the shutoff valve that protects your outdoor taps and drain any standing water out of these taps.
If a pipe in your home freezes but has not yet burst, you can thaw it out. Do not use any type of open flame to melt the ice. Open the tap and locate the frozen area. This area may be frosted over on the outside or may also be deformed in the critical spot. Heat the pipe from the tap back toward the frozen spot.
You can heat exposed pipes using a hair dryer, an incandescent or infrared light, or a space heater. If your frozen piping is below a sink, open the doors to the base cabinet and circulate warmer air around the pipes. However, be aware that a pipe may burst while you’re trying to thaw it. In this case, turn off the water at the main shutoff immediately and call a restoration professional.
De-icing Your Walkway:
Cold temperatures and wet weather present another winter obstacle: icy walkways. Before you find yourself slipping or potentially injuring someone else, follow these guidelines to minimize the danger these conditions can cause:
- Prepare yourself for deicing by bundling up in water-repellant clothing and water-resistant boots with plenty of traction.
- Scrape snow or icy buildup from any cars parked in the driveway and move them if possible.
- Shovel any snow from your driveway to reach the icy layer below. Shovel as soon as possible after a snowfall and move the discarded snow to a nearby area. To maintain balance, hold the shovel high and close to your upper body and avoid twisting as you discard the snow. Break-up any ice you can and dispose of it.
- Choose your deicer. No-salt melters are particularly safe for pets, while magnesium chloride-based products go easy on plants and animals but can harm masonry. Calcium chloride doesn’t affect plants, but it may leave residue on shoes. To treat ice that has already formed, choose pellet or crystal deicers.
- Apply the deicer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings, working as soon as you can after snowfall. In general, sprinkle the minimum amount of deicer atop the ice; deicer is meant to break down ice for shoveling, not to dissolve it completely. More deicer will not break down ice more quickly.
- Allow the ice to break down, and scoop away the remaining slosh with your snow shovel, adding it to your existing snow pile. Scatter sand or birdseed to help improve traction — these don’t melt ice, but they do make your driveway safer to traverse once the ice is cleared.
Your safety and security are our biggest priority. At Soucy Insurance, our staff is dedicated to providing you the coverage and protection you need at a price you can afford. Therefore, we feature outstanding home insurance programs that include added discounts if you also purchase auto insurance through us. Consider combining your policies and call us today at 762-2218 to save you money, and troubles, this winter season.
Information for this article provided by: Keeping Roofs Clear of Snow, Roof Snow Removal, Deice Driveway, Avoiding Frozen Pipes in the Winter