Did you wake up and think you were at the South Pole? Yes, we broke a record low temperature at -9 degrees. Wind chill is forecasted to be -35 degrees. That’s colder than Fairbanks, Alaska! Don’t fret, though... in true Toledo fashion, just wait a couple days. It’s forecasted to be in the 40s this weekend. But we’re not there yet, and your house isn’t used to these low temperatures. Here are some easy steps that don’t require you to buy anything, bring in a contractor or spend hours outside. Just walk through your house with this tip sheet, and you can prevent major damage to your home.
Turn on your interior faucets to a drip. This will keep the water flowing through the pipes, preventing a back-up and possible freezing.
Open the cabinets under your sinks. Let the warm inside air penetrate those pipes.
Have a three-season room? Consider moving any electronics inside your home as well as fragile ceramic or glass decorations. The extreme cold could cause cracking.
Have an ice maker? Make sure it’s set to make ice, especially if the line runs under your house.
Did you find a frozen pipe? Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst. Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
Here are some tips to keep the house as warm as possible:
Close the drapes and pull the blinds in every room. Every little bit helps to keep that cold outside.
Close the garage door. Your door is another block against the extreme wind we’re experiencing.
Run your ceiling fans on low in reverse direction. That will push the warm air down into the room.
If you can do without running your washer and dryer, block the vents outside to prevent cold air from entering the house. Don’t forget to unblock vents before use!
If you don’t plan on using your fireplace, block the opening to prevent cold air from entering the room—and from critters finding their way into your home!
Cover any drafty windows or doors with draft snakes, pillows…anything you can find.
Now, for your car. If you have to drive in this weather, check these things before you drive off:
Antifreeze level. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
Windshield wiper fluid. Make sure you your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is filled with freeze-resistant windshield wiper fluid.
Tire pressure. Since cold weather causes the pressure to lower, you may need to add some air to your tires.
Gas tank. Keep it at least half to three-quarters full to prevent freezing of the fuel lines.
We hope that these tips will prevent damage to your home, but if you do experience a burst pipe or other winter-related claim, please contact us right away. We are here to help you through it.
Submit a claim on our mobile app.
Stay safe, keep as warm as possible, and remember... 40 degrees is right around the corner!