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Freeze Warning for Long Island - Top Tips for Avoiding Freeze Damage

Frozen pipes expected across Long Island

Frozen Pipe Warning in Effect!

Top 5 Tips

To Prevent Freezing Pipes

During the last few days I have received a couple of calls regarding freezing pipes and I believe the worst of this storm / cold snap will happen this Thursday night, Friday and Saturday where the overnight temperatures are going to be in single digits, approaching 0 degrees.

The ultra-cold weather combined with high winds can penetrate further into walls and freeze pipes if people are not careful.

Here are the top 5 tips I always share with our clients for preventing freezing pipes:

1) Turn the heat up a couple of degrees in the house and set it to “hold”. This way the thermostat will not lower the temperature at night.

2) In kitchens and bathrooms where the plumbing is located on an exterior wall, leave vanity doors under the sinks open at night. The circulating air helps the pipes stay warmer. For example, if you have a window over your kitchen sink or bathroom vanity, you likely have water supply pipes in the exterior wall. These pipes will be susceptible to freezing.

3) Let susceptible faucets run with a thin stream of warm water. Slightly running water freezes slower than than still water. As with kitchen or vanities with supplies in exterior walls, if your shower or bath has faucets on the exterior wall of your house, the supplies to these faucets will also be in the exterior walls. These faucets are perfect candidates for this strategy.

4) Use non-toxic marine grade anti-freeze in toilet bowls and sink traps if you have unheated recreational spaces such as pool houses. Winterizing these spaces is often overlooked when the fall comes and the holiday season rush takes over. If you have not done so already, winterize these immediately to avoid significant freeze damage.

5) Use non-toxic marine grade anti-freeze in toilet bowls and tub traps if you have bathrooms over unheated living spaces such as screened porches, decks, or garages. Many homes now feature extensions and additions built out over decks, porches, or even unheated garages. On Long Island, this is particularly common for beach and other elevated shore properties, or homes on the south shore canals and bays. In these cases, floor drains and supplies that have been run through the floor joists behave like the pipes described above in exterior walls. Use non-toxic marine grade anti-freeze in toilets and drains where water will be still and might freeze. If you suspect that you have water supply pipes in the floor joists, let those faucets run with a small stream of water as well.

Take care, Miles Greer

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