Temperatures are predicted to drop below 0 starting on Sunday January 12 and remain below 0 for an extended period of the following week. Now is the time to be prepared for a sustained period of severe cold.
Before the cold spell hits hard in central Montana, it is a good idea to ensure your heating system is working properly – Kick up the temperature a few degrees to make sure the system is working efficiently. Check for warm air reaching all parts of the home, especially the basement.
Change or clean out your furnace filters – This can help make your furnace operate efficiently during this upcoming cold spell.
Test all smoke detectors and invest in fire extinguishers – The winter can be a perilous time for house fires. It is imperative to ensure all smoke detectors are working properly. Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and close to the fireplace is always recommended.
Don’t forget about rental properties, businesses or buildings for sale – Property owners, do not turn off the heat in places that won’t be frequented for a few days. It is a common mistake, with catastrophic consequences. During a severe cold spell, it is important to check all properties and storefronts at least twice a day to ensure the pipes have not frozen and the heat is working.
Drain all outdoor hoses – Hoses can be ruined by freezing and expanding water. Be sure they are drained completely so you do not have to buy new ones in the spring.
Be on the lookout for signs of a frozen pipe – The first sign of a frozen pipe is often no water or very little water coming out of the taps. Additional signs include frost buildup on pipes and water not flowing at inconsistent temperatures. Contact a certified plumber right away if you notice any of these signs.
Know where your water main shutoff is located – It is imperative to know where your water main shut off is located. If a pipe does burst, quickly shutting off the water can prevent more property damage.
Will insurance cover damage from a frozen pipe burst? It depends on the type of insurance coverage for the property. It is always a good idea to check with an insurance company and see if a policy covers frozen pipes and to what extent. If water damage occurs, it is important to contact insurance right away as well as a certified restoration company.