From our friends at Sherwood Homes and Lane Building.
Many homes in the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas are designed to perform with outside temperatures above and down to minus -10 degrees. The short-range forecast is for record low temperatures as low as minus -25 degrees with wind chills in the minus-40 degree range. As most of us and our homes have never seen these kinds of temperatures a major concern for our homes will be frozen pipes. Tips to prevent frozen pipes: By taking the following precautions you may be able to minimize the consequences and damage caused by of frozen or burst water pipes in your home.
• Keep the overhead garage doors closed!
• Keep all interior doors open! This includes closet, storage, bedroom, and bathroom doors. The warm air need to circulate in all areas of your home!
• Open the doors under all sinks to allow air to circulate in the area under the faucets. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
• If you have shut offs on the water lines to the hose bibs on the outside of the home, shut them off.
• Keep the temperature up! Don’t reduce the heat at night or when you leave! This is no time to save a couple of bucks during a few days of extreme temperatures.
• On the thermostat, set the fan from “auto” to “on” or “run”. This will also help circulate the air. • If you leave the house, shut off the main water supply valve. This is usually found in the basement where the water enters the home. • Shut the main water supply valve off overnight when you go to bed. THEN- open the kitchen faucet and a faucet on the lowest level of the home. This may seem extreme, but again it is only during these extreme lows, and if a pipe does burst this will help minimize the damage.
• If you elect not to shut off the water at night, leave the faucet trickle. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. What if the pipes freeze?
• After you turn the water supply back on. If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials). Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
• Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
What if the pipe has burst?
• Shut off the main water supply.
• Contact a plumber to repair the pipe.
• If you have water damage in your home contact your insurance company immediately. Often when you file a claim you may not hear from an adjuster immediately. Take pictures of the damage and do what is necessary to minimize the damage and start the cleanup. • Most home warranty’s only cover the cost to repair the pipe but not the cost of cleanup or restoration and then only when temperatures don’t exceed the design standard.
BE PROACTIVE. THIS WILL ONLY LAST A SHORT TIME. THE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS YOU TAKE IMMEDIATELY MAY PROVIDE BIG REWARDS.
Remember whether buying or selling, moving up or downsizing, Lincoln or Omaha, Susan & Paul Vaccaro stand ready to assist you, your family, friends and co-workers. Email or call us today! firstname.lastname@example.org In Lincoln (402)817-0355 Woods Bros Realty 3737 S 27th Street, Lincoln, NE 68502. In Omaha (402)577-0820, CBSHome Real Estate 15950 W Dodge Road, Suite 200, Omaha, NE 68118.