Frozen… but not Broken. North Star Clean of Wisconsin.
Most people, when they think of frozen pipes in their homes, automatically think of broken pipes, spewing a huge mess that soaks carpet, subfloors, walls and more… requiring the attention of their water damage professional.
But many times, a frozen pipe doesn’t necessarily become a broken pipe. You might have experienced this yourself: You go into a bathroom, during a really cold part of winter, turn on the faucet and nothing comes out. Or perhaps only a trickle dribbles into the sink.
This is a nuisance that must be dealt with quickly, before the pipe actually breaks and creates a larger problem.
Preventing this from ever happening is the best course of action. Here are some things you can do when temperatures dip well below freezing:
But if a frozen pipe does happen, your only recourse is to thaw it. This might take some time. Warm up your house, and use safe heat, such as a hair dryer, to warm the area where the pipe is frozen. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or other heat source fired by fuel, and don’t use open flames. If you can’t determine where the frozen pipe is, a local plumbing company can help.
And, of course, if the worst happens and a pipe does break, call your water damage professional.
Snow Shovel Safety. North Star Clean of Wisconsin.
Winter weather is blowing across much of the country and — unfortunately — that means out comes the snow shovel, the snow blower and the ice melt. And sweat on the foreheads of many.
(Editor’s Note: you might be fortunate enough not to experience snow at all. If that’s the case, then reading this will at least give you a good feeling that you chose warmer climates, or a feeling of empathy for those who did not.)
You’ve seen the news reports: When some overexert themselves when shoveling the white stuff, they can get hurt or even worse… so it’s smart to plan ahead and be prepared with proper information before engaging in a physical activity you aren’t used to. Snow shoveling puts stress on your back and also on your heart.
Choose your snow shovel carefully, one that is right for you. A curved handle keeps your back straighter when shoveling, and make sure the handle is of proper length for your height. A plastic shovel might not be as durable as a metal one, but it is lighter and easier to use, especially when dealing with a lot of snow.
Just as you would do before working out, stretch your muscles and warm them up. Pace yourself, take breaks.
When you go out to take care of a new snowfall, do more pushing of the snow, as that keeps strain on your back to a minimum.
When dealing with a heavy snowfall, and you can’t push it, shovel in layers, inches at a time. But never throw snow over your shoulder; toss it in front of you or to the side.
And never forget, what is outside comes inside, so snow, mud, ice melt and other hard-to-remove soils will end up on your carpet and other floorings. When this happens, do the right thing: Call your favorite cleaning professional.