Tuesday, January 7, 2014

22 Tips For Cold weather

I recently did or almost did a home inspection in Teaneck, NJ.  The house was unoccupied (a short sale).  As I was outside talking to my client the realtor was opening the house up.   I could see the realtor step inside and go any further.   She stopped, looked, and then turned to us.   There was a look on her face that was unforgettable.  She calmly stated “The house is leaking”.  To make this story short, the heat was not on.  The water in the upstairs bathroom pipe froze and burst the pipe.  When the temperature warmed up the pipe unfroze and the water was flowing.

So, here is a list of 22 items we think can help in cold and extreme cold weather. 

1.       Stay indoors if possible.  If you must go outdoors, officials urge you dress warmly and wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.  Wear a scarf over your mouth to protect your lungs.

2.       Watch for signs of hypothermia, including uncontrollable shivering, weak pulse, disorientation, incoherence and drowsiness, and frostbite, including gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness and waxy feeling skin.

3.       Have safe emergency heating equipment in your home, as well as a flashlight, portable radio and three days' worth of food in case the power goes out.  Infrared heaters and sun heat heaters. They’re cost efficient and not a fire hazard; if it gets too hot it will shut off.

4.       To prevent frozen pipes, letting your hot and cold faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls.

5.       Locate the water shut-off valve in your home in advance of a water emergency, so you know where to go if a pipe bursts, DC Water spokesperson Pamela Mooring advised.

6.       Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.

7.       If you are going away for an extended period of time, be sure to maintain adequate heat inside your home at no lower than 55 degrees.

8.       Do not place a space heater within three feet of anything combustible.

9.       Go ahead and program your local utility contact information into your cell phone now, before you need them.

10.   People should make sure door seals are caulked, use draft guards under doors and wrap pipes with freeze tape.

11.   Set fan to on to circulate air.

12.   Pull all curtains and blinds shut in order to keep heat in.

13.   Close doors to rooms that are not used, as long as there is not water in them.

14.   Use shrink wrap internal window film to insulate.

15.   Make sure vents are not covered by furniture etc.

16.   Check propane tank to make sure you have plenty of gas.

17.   Leave cabinet doors under sinks open in extreme cold.

18.   Avoid overloading electrical circuits with electric heaters.

19.   Be careful with fireplaces that haven’t been used or chimneys that have not been cleaned.

20.   Make sure your heating equipment has been serviced.

21.   Bank snow around house.

22.   Block off unused fireplaces, because they can suck the heat out.

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