DENVER (KDVR) — An arctic front moving in will drop temperatures across parts of the U.S. to dangerously low numbers over the next few days.
It’s important to take precautions to keep you and your home safe during extremely low temperatures, meaning there are ways to prepare for this cold snap and prevent disasters from happening.
How to prep your home before the cold hits
Denver Water provided a list of things to do ahead of the cold moving in:
- Know where your home’s water shut-off valve is because if a pipe breaks, you’ll need to turn off the water to minimize damage. The valve can be found in the basement or crawl space in most single-family homes on a wall facing the street.
- Everyone in your household should know how to shut off the water.
- Water pipes vulnerable to the cold, such as those along exterior walls and in unheated basements, should be insulated.
What to do when extreme cold arrives
Denver Water says that as soon as the temperatures drop, do these things:
- Cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes should be left open to allow household air to warm them.
- Keep the doors of an attached garage closed since plumbing can be routed through this unheated space, leaving it vulnerable to the cold.
- Turn on a faucet farthest from where the water enters your home. A very slow drip keeps water molecules moving and reduces the risk of frozen pipes. You can also save the water dripping from the faucet for other uses by catching it in a bucket.
- When leaving your house or business for several days, keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees.
What to do if you think a pipe is frozen
Denver Water warns that you should not ignore it.
- Thaw the pipe yourself as soon as possible or call a plumber.
- To prevent water from suddenly gushing from the pipe when thawing it yourself, turn off the water or test the shut-off valve.
- Remember that pipes warmed too quickly may break, so slower is better when thawing. While using a hair dryer to thaw a pipe is appropriate, a blow torch is not.