Extreme Winter Weather Tips

Below are some precautionary measures you should take to help protect yourself and your home. During extreme weather, our response time to repair any outstanding issue could be delayed, since Vendors will be busier than usual. So, it’s important to read through this list and take all precautions.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

  • Know where your main water shut-off valve is. The main shut off valve is generally located in the basement, or, if no basement, near the water heater. It’s important to know where this valve is in case of a water line break.
  • Leave faucets on exterior walls (walls that are on the outside of the home) trickling on both hot and cold sides. For single handle faucets, open in the middle to provide a cold-hot mix. In some cases of very extreme temperatures (below zero) you will need to leave a pencil-sized stream running.
  • Open cabinet doors under faucets to allow warm air to fill the cabinet.
  • If you will be be gone during cold weather for more than 24 hours, always ensure your thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees and turn off your water at the main shut-off and open your faucets to drain the water from the plumbing lines. 
  • Where possible, leave all interior doors open and ensure all air vents are open.
  • For extra protection, install a space heater near any plumbing that may exist in the garage and ensure that your garage door is not left open for any extended period.
  • If you have an outside spigot, ensure that the water supply (if available) is turned off.
  • Ensure all windows are shut tight and locked.

What if the pipes freeze?

  • First, turn off the main water shut-off valve.
  • Next, open the water valves throughout the house to relieve pressure.
  • If you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker to the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, turn down the valve on the water heater to the lowest temperature setting. 
  • Finally, if possible, attempt to locate the frozen area in the pipe and provide temporary heating (hair dryer or electric space heater) to the frozen section of pipe. Do not use any open-flamed devices.

What if I lose power, or heat, and need to leave the home?

  • Turn off the main water shut-off valve.
  • Open the water valves throughout the house to relieve pressure.

Other Helpful Tips:

  • During extreme temperatures (below 5 degrees), your furnace may struggle to adequately heat your home.  
  • Never use any fossil-fueled, temporary heating devices to replace or supplement your heating inside your home.
  • Never use generators inside or around the perimeter of the home, or hook them directly into the incoming electrical service panel.
  • If electric space heaters are needed, please only use a certified space heater with anti-tip and over-heat protections. Never use extension cords.