Frigid temps can cause expensive property damage


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP/WIVT) — In the Capital Region and across the Northeast, frigid temperatures Monday night and into Tuesday can mean problems for your home or business, especially the plumbing. Frozen pipes limit water supply and can burst, causing expensive property damage but a few simple steps can prevent the worst.

In Massachusetts, officials suggest setting the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Make sure not to lower the temperature at night during a cold spell. If you are away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, and set the temperature to no lower than 55 degrees.

And according to a statement from Binghamton mayor Jared Kraham, pipes along exterior walls with little or no insulation, or those in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets are the likeliest to freeze. That’s why the American Red Cross recommends keeping garage doors closed if it houses water supply lines.

Noonan Energy in Springfield, Massachusetts says that people with oil heating should make sure they have plenty in their tank for frigid days. “You will burn more oil when it gets that cold,” said Tim Noonan. “The people that sometimes forget to check, and then they are in danger of having frozen pipes—that’s not a good thing, and could become very expensive.”

Frozen pipes can also lead to water damage, so experts recommended wrapping pipes in insulation. Also, opening kitchen or bathroom cabinets lets warmer air contact the plumbing. Don’t forget to let water drip from the faucets and make sure your outside water is shut off.

If you suspect frozen pipes, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services recommends that you apply heat to the pipe using a hairdryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. If you cannot thaw a pipe, call a licensed plumber.

To keep the heat in, make sure to seal cracks around windows and doors. That way, cold drafts won’t come into your home, and you can also avoid any damage caused by moisture.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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