ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the extreme cold weather comes the possibility of freezing pipes and car trouble, but with the proper preparations, you can stay safe.
Once you know what to expect, you can anticipate potential problems in the home by counteracting the three main causes of frozen pipes: cold weather, poor insulation, and thermostats that are set too low. Experts say a burst pipe is much more expensive than the price of keeping your thermostat at a higher temperature.
Another preventative measure is properly insulating thing your pipes. If your pipes are inside cabinets, it’s a good idea to keep them open so heat can flow through. You can also apply heating tape or extra insulation to keep from freezing. If the pipes freeze, officials using a torch is no way to fix the problem.
“If you have pipes that are on the exterior walls where they are susceptible to freezing, or if you’ve had a frozen pipe once before, you may want to turn that faucet on just a trickle– just a few drops every second or two. Just to keep the water moving,” explained Alan Ayers, Vice President of Crisafulli Brothers Plumbing and Heating.
Officials say that pipes underground can also freeze. Call your local water service to report any problems.
The bitter cold can also put a strain on your car. Make sure your car is toasty and winterproofed before hitting the roads. For many, this means warming up the car before you head out, or installing winter tires in late autumn.
It’s also essential that you carry an emergency kit equipped for winter, including a cellphone charger, sand or kitty litter, a small shovel, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, a blanket, gloves, snacks, and water. Use cold weather windshield wiper solvent and inspect your tire to make sure the tread is deep enough.
If your car battery is more then 3-years-old, have it checked by a professional every year to ensure it’s strong enough to endure the cold.