Preventing Frozen Pipes This Winter

stock-photo-6173250-pipes-under-houseWith the temperatures across Northeast Ohio the way they are, a balmy 3°F in Akron, and 1°F in Kent, the thoughts are always about the furnace and whether it can withstand such trials. But the temperatures can also affect the pipes in your home.  Frozen pipes can cause havoc to the inside of your home and can ruin furniture and carpet or other flooring you may have in the basement. When temperatures drop below the freezing point, ice blockage becomes more likely for any unprotected pipes outside the home, and can be the source of your pipe bursting. For more information about how to prevent and deal with frozen pipes, follow the links below.

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes

A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

Bitterly cold temperatures have hit the area hard.

One big headache that can accompany the dangerously low temperatures is frozen water pipes in unheated basements and crawl spaces of local homes.

Here is more information from the American Red Cross:

Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem

Water expands as it freezes.

This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

In the US, frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often  can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you the aggravation and expense.

Flooding Safety Tips: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related according to the National Weather Service.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) urges people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways because drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater. Roads weaken under floodwater and drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

• Twelve inches of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles, including pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles.
• Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
• Because disaster can strike at any time, ADEM encourages everyone to have a disaster supply kit in their home and vehicle.

When there’s water on the road:  Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Saving your life is as simple as choosing an alternate route. If you are driving and your vehicle stalls in flood water, the best advice is to get out quickly and move to higher ground.

Flood: Know Your Terms
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:

National Fuel Says “Don’t Touch” if Basement Floods
A National Fuel advisory is telling customers not to touch gas appliances like a furnace or hot water heater, even after the water has receded.

The precautions were put out in the wake of flooding advisories prompted by warmer temperatures and heavy rain.

The company advises that homeowners do *not* try to relight pilot lights on appliances after they have been impacted by flood water.

Homeowners should also avoid adjusting gas equipment especially while flooding persists.

You are also asked not to turn on gas to any appliance that has been shut off by emergency crews or NFG technicians.

If basement flooding has affected gas appliances call 1 (800) 365-3234. The company will restore your service free of charge.

If you smell gas in the building you are advised to open at least one window for ventilation, and call 1 (800) 444-3130.

Current forecast models call for rain through Sunday.


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