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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cold Weather Tips for an Iowa Homeowner

12/8/2022 (Permalink)

As the second week of December in Central Iowa comes to a close, we have, for the most part, avoided long stretches of frigid snow, ice, or cold temperatures up to this point as Iowans. We all know that is something that could potentially change in an instant, without much of a precautionary heads-up from mother nature. It's important to be informed on how to bundle up and conserve heat ahead of time in case of a winter emergency, Iowans have to stay ready so we don't ever have to get ready.

Experts from the National Weather Service and the Des Moines Register have provided excellent advice on how to keep your pets, plants, and pipes safe from the cold weather. When thinking of house pets, it's important to consider your dog's age, weight, and breed in regard to the amount of time your dog is safely able to be outside. Of course, the outside temperature strongly dictates this as well. Pipe freezing is an event that seems like an annual tradition for many midwesterners. 

Here are a few tips to prevent the mess — and cost — of frozen pipes:

  • Leave a faucet slowly dripping to keep water flowing through the pipe. The water can be captured in a bucket and used for other purposes around the home, like watering plants and washing dishes.
  • Open under-sink cabinets to allow warm air to circulate near your pipes.
  • What if there’s no water coming out of your faucets? Check your water meter. If water is leaking or spraying from your meter or the bottom is cracked, your water meter is frozen. Feel for frozen pipes. Pipes located along exterior walls are most susceptible to freezing. To thaw pipes, contact a licensed plumber or use hot towels or a hair dryer. Never use an open flame.

Help Keep Your Car On The Road

If you have to drive on slick roads during an Iowa winter, here are tips on how to travel safely, courtesy of the Iowa Department of Transportation:

  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions before driving.
  • Maintain a reasonable speed and safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances and reduced visibility.
  • Drive below the posted speed limit when road conditions are less than ideal.
  • Turn on lights to see and be seen.
  • Keep headlights and tail lights clear of snow.
  • Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions.
  • You need to be in control of your car when accelerating based on road conditions. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, understand how to use them and what to expect when they are used.
  • Be aware that ramps and bridges may freeze before other roadway segments.
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