Tips To Keep Your Home Safe In A Freeze
Brrrrr…. The National Weather Services has issued a Freeze Warning from Nov 15, 2018-November 16, 2018. While freezing weather isn’t abnormal in our region of Georgia and Alabama, the first one tends to catch residents and home owners by surprise. We’ve come up with a few tips to keep your family, home, and garden safe during a hard freeze!
1) Cover Outdoor Faucets & Pipes
Freezing water expands which can wreak havoc on your outdoor faucets, potentially causing busted pipes or cracks at their most vulnerable point.
One of the best tools you can buy is a Styrofoam cover or faucet sock to cover the faucet.
Our ground temperatures don’t usually dip below the freezing point, so below ground plumbing should be fine; however, any pipes in crawl spaces or with exposure to freezing cold air should be insulated, including above ground sprinkler heads.
In the event you cannot cover a pipe, turning the faucet on to a slow drip can work to keep water flowing and prevent freezing.
2) Bring in Potted Plants And Cover New Growth
Your landscaping will be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. If you have any potted plants, hanging baskets or tropical plants, bring them indoors to your house, garage, or covered space to protect them from the cold.
If you wish to protect any flowering plants, fruit trees, or new growth on existing plants, cover them with a blanket, tarp, bag or empty pot until the frost passes
3) Wait On The Cozy Fire!
If you haven’t serviced your fireplace in a long time, or haven’t used it yet this year, you may want to wait on the fireside snuggles. The National Fire Protection Association suggests you service your fireplace at least once a year to make sure it’s clear of deposits, that it is structurally sound, and that no critters have nested in there.
If you do use your fireplace, make sure to extinguish any fire or embers before bedtime so that smoke doesn’t push back down into your living room — which is a carbon monoxide threat — and that no flames escape the fireplace.
4) Bring In Your Pets
We’ve all heard it: “If you’re cold, they’re cold!” So make sure your fur babies are tucked in for the night, whether that means they’re indoors, in the bed, or in a warm corner of the garage (where they can’t chew anything up). If you have an outdoor cat or critter that absolutely can’t come in, make sure they have a warm place to take shelter or are otherwise covered (donkeys, horses, llamas)
5) Watch For Ice!
Since it’s been especially wet lately, ground surfaces have not dried and underground aquifers have swelled. Our region of Georgia and Alabama doesn’t have a lot of de-icing equipment, so use caution when driving especially in late night and early morning hours. Also use caution while walking and driving in shady areas as those will be the last to thaw.
Make sure to keep your family and home safe in the cold, and don’t forget to check on neighbors or friends that may be susceptible to the cold, or may not have adequate heat.
If you have any questions, ask your KW Realtor for suggestions to maintain your home, as well as for trusted vendors who can help with repairs or upkeep.