Hard freeze hitting Houston - are you prepared?
Protect your home and car from freeze damage by following these tips.
- Wrap your outside pipes with foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves. If your pipes burst, turn off the main water supply. Seal all openings where cold air can get in. Call a professional plumber. Then call us for help!
- Leave cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer air to circulate pipes.
- Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas, such as your home's crawlspace and attic.
- Let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing.
- Remove outside garden hoses from the faucets and cover each outside faucet with insulation or foam.
- Drain your sprinkler system of excess water, particularly the backflow prevention device.
- Keep your pool’s motor running to prevent water from freezing.
- Make sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned before use.
- Prevent a chimney fire by never burning cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, or trash. Clean or replace your furnace filter before use.
- Be sure you have enough fire extinguishers around the home and know how to use them.
- If you must drive, clear the ice and snow from your vehicle. Be sure the windshield washer reservoir is filled with a freeze-resistant cleaning solution.
- Drive slowly. Even if your vehicle has good traction in ice and snow, other drivers will be traveling cautiously.
- If you start to skid take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral. Turn the steering wheel TOWARDS the direction that you are skidding. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
- If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), keep your foot on the pedal. If not, pump the pedal gently, pumping more rapidly as your car slows down. Braking hard with non-anti-lock brakes will make the skid worse.
- To avoid skids, brake carefully and gently on snow or ice. "Squeeze" your brakes in slow, steady strokes. If they start to lock up, ease off the brake pedal.
- Remember that bridges, ramps, and overpasses are likely to freeze first. Also, be aware that slippery spots may remain after road crews have cleared the highways.