Business gives tips on winter home and car health

Alyssa Brooks, Staff Reporter

When the temperature is below zero and classes are cancelled, students automatically think only of how to keep themselves warm. However, most students don’t think that these dangerously low temperatures have effects on their living spaces. There are a variety of precautions that should be taken for all areas of a home, but the major issue is the pipes. Frozen pipes can cause lots of issues within a home, including flooding. Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling informs students of some tips on how to proceed if frozen pipes are discovered.

“The first step after discovering frozen pipes and water damage is to turn off the water supply if it can be done safely.” said  Chief Financial Officer Jeff Hertel at Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling, “prolonged wet conditions can lead to mold or other microbial growth.”

Water damage and mold are indefinitely two bad situations that can invade a person’s residence. If the pipes are leaking for a long period of time, the damage can drench carpets, weaken hardwood floors, and mold will reek upon clothing and documents inside the residence. To go from water damage to frozen pipes, be mindful that in a deep freeze water may stop running from the faucets. If the pipe is not thawed out, the ice inside may expand and burst the pipe. To release pressure, turn on a faucet and take note when water starts running again. Secondly, use a towel to wrap around the pipe, and secure with duct tape. Next, repeatedly pour hot water on the towel until the ice is thawed in the pipe. Just use this method to thaw the pipes, because others can be a fire hazard. Also, a piece of rubber or hose can be placed around the damaged pipe, and secured with duct tape. Keep in mind, that these are quick fixes until a professional restoration or emergency service experts can come assess and fix the damage.

Along with the necessary actions for unfreezing a cold pipe, there are many procedures that owners can take to winterize their home or apartment. On frigid days it is recommended to set the thermostat a couple degrees warmer the day before so the extra warmth kicks in for the next day. Keeping the cold air out is a major part in keeping the inside warm, something that UWW junior and apartment tenant Natalie Hinz can attest to.

“My landlord made sure that the windows are sealed, and that the vents are kept open for air flow.” said Hinz.

Still, for students with an on campus job, the warmth of their dorm rooms or apartments didn’t matter because many people still had to go to work. Even students with a car or some sort of transportation had to be mindful of the cold and their cars health.

Ashley Flor with the UWW Facilities, Planning and Management says, “drive with more than a half tank of gas and have an emergency kit in the vehicle with snacks, flashlights and heat sources.”

The gas can easily drain and freeze so that is why it is recommended to have more than half in the tank. Another step to take is to start the car and leave it running periodically to allow continuous gas flow even when the vehicle isn’t in gear. Even in this bitterly cold weather, think warm thoughts. Spring and summer are coming!