Forecasters Predict Harsh Winter: Is Your Home and Business Ready?
Forecasters are predicting a harsh 2014 winter with above-average snowfall and below-average temperatures. We’re experts at cleaning and restoring property after disasters. But we’re human, and seeing so many good people going through tough times takes its toll. That’s why we want to help as many people avoid property disasters as much as we can.
We’ve said it before: Unfortunately, there will always be plenty of work for us. We hope these winterization tips for your property and safety tips for your family and employees keep you from needing our services. We also want to make sure that personal safety isn’t overlooked in the process.
Quick Tips to Winterproof Your Property
Drain pool pumps, jacuzzi lines, water hoses, and other external water lines.
Insulate exterior water faucets.
Check crawl spaces for uninsulated pipes, especially near external walls.
Look for holes in external walls where phone lines, cable lines, and other services enter the building. These holes can let cold air into the walls, resulting in frozen pipes. Plug holes with caulk or other commercially available materials for this purpose.
Ensure proper operation of basement sump pumps.
“While you’re protecting the structures, don’t forget to provide for the safety of the people who live and work there.”
Close external doors to garages and other unheated areas.
When forecasts call for extremely low temperatures, ensure that all internal faucets are left dripping overnight. Pipes break when ice blocks them and expands toward faucets, pushing water toward the closed valve. Keeping the valves open allows the water (and pressure) to escape in the event of a frozen pipe.
While you’re protecting the structures, don’t forget to provide for the safety of the people who live and work there.
Winter Safety Tips (for People)
Ensure that walkways leading to the structure are free of ice. Use salt or sand to melt ice and improve footing.
Ensure that entryways are equipped with non-skid mats or other materials that will provide secure footing when ice and snow melt and get the floor wet.
Watch for water on floors from melting snow and ice and promptly remove it and dry the area.
Check above doorways for ice and snow that could dislodge and fall on people entering or leaving the structure.
In the event of a power outage, never run a generator inside your home or business.
“If a pipe does break and causes water damage to your property, call Abbotts as soon as possible to minimize the damage and restoration costs.”
Never use camping stoves or gas grills to attempt to heat your home or business.
Ensure that fireplaces and furnaces are properly maintained, especially exhaust pipes and chimneys. Soot can build up in these structures, creating fire and carbon monoxide hazards.
Ensure that you have a plan for extreme winter weather situations, both at home and in your business. It should include supplies in case of power outages, such as emergency food and backup supplies of prescription medicines.
If a pipe freezes, DO NOT try to thaw it with an open flame. The extreme temperature difference can crack the pipe, and you could start a fire.
If a pipe does break and causes water damage to your property, call Abbotts as soon as possible to minimize the damage and restoration costs. Any time, day or night, we’ll answer your call and get you the help you need, fast.