Winter weather in Atlanta | Protect your pipes

Winter weather in Atlanta | Protect your pipes

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John Spink,
Metro Atlanta’s deep freeze of 2014 caused a water main burst, sending a geyser of water some 80 to 100 feet into the 13-degree air, icing nearby power lines and roads and forcing the evacuation of a nearby elementary school.

Quickly plummeting temperatures could be bad for pipes. And no, this isn’t a public service announcement for singers, but for homeowners.

Temperatures in the upper 40s Monday morning are expected to drop into the 20s overnight and linger below freezing, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologists.

Now, that probably just sounds like more cold weather until you start thinking about all the items that could freeze and wreak a considerable amount of havoc in the lives of homeowners.

Liberty Mutual and the American Red Cross released a few tips on how to avoid that havoc at least with regards to water pipes.

What to do before pipes freeze:

» Allow a trickle of water to run overnight, preferably through a faucet on an outside wall.

» Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmer air can circulate below the sinks.

» Find your shut-off valves, in case a pipe bursts.

» Keep heat at 55 degrees or higher even when out of town

What to do if you have frozen pipes:

» Keep the faucet open to allow running water to help melt ice.

» If you know where the frozen area is, apply heat to the area by using an electric heating pad or hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes in towels soaked in hot water. Do not use any open-flame device.

» Check all faucets for frozen pipes. If you can’t find the frozen area or can’t access it, call a plumber.

» Damage to carpeting, furniture, and other belongings caused by pipes freezing should also be covered by homeowners or renters policies. And you can call a local claims office to locate a vendor specializing in emergency water mitigation services to dry out damaged areas.

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