October 21, 2018

Local Area Braces for Arctic Blast

(Franklin) — A wind chill advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service through 10:00 a.m. Thursday as an Arctic blast brings in the coldest temperatures so far this winter.

Lows are expected to reach the low teens early Thursday morning with wind chills in the single digits.

Highs on Thursday are only expected to reach the mid 30’s, not very far above freezing which could cause frozen pipes for homeowners and businesses alike.

Assistant School Superintendent Marianne Cole with the Heard County School System sent out an email to parents as well as HeardCitizen.com Wednesday afternoon advising parents to be very careful as children await school buses Thursday morning.

“Tomorrow morning, Thursday January 8th, the temperature is expected to be in the low teens with wind chills possibly down into the single digits,” said Cole in the email.

“Please make sure your children are dressed warmly for school. If your child rides a bus, please allow them to wait for the bus inside the house or in a car at the end of the driveway. All buses will stop and blow the horn if necessary. Please do not allow your children to stand outside for any length of time,” she added.

A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills. This can result in frost bite and could lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors — make sure you wear a hat and gloves.

It was almost one year ago exactly that brought Georgia some of the coldest temperatures in several years and caused millions of dollars in damage due to widespread frozen pipe damage to homes, businesses, and churches throughout the West Georgia area.

Churches are especially prone to frozen pipe damage as many are often unattended and heat is often not used in the unoccupied buildings. Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for important weather information as it happens.

 

TIPS TO AVOID COSTLY FROZEN PIPE DAMAGE

Servpro, a local water damage restoration company which services the West Georgia area offers the following tips and advice to homeowners who may have questions on how to to avoid frozen pipes:

Servpro Full Tile ProofQ: Frozen pipes are a leading cause of water damage in the colder months of the year. Why?

A: Water has the unfortunate property in that as it freezes, it expands. This can affect all types of water lines, whether metal, plastic, or PVC. Simply, all pipes are subject to bursting given the right amount of pressure. As the water freezes, it can expand the pipe, eventually causing a hairline crack or a complete break. At that point the portion unfrozen will then provide a continual stream of water until shut off, causing water damage throughout the property.

Q: How can I prevent my pipes from freezing or bursting?

A: If possible, make sure that all pipes and supply lines on exterior walls are insulated. Exterior walls will be much colder than interior walls given their location. Additionally, all water lines in basements and crawl spaces need to be insulated as they will be subjected to very cold temperatures. Simple foam insulation wrap can help prevent your pipes from freezing. Make sure all outdoor hoses are removed from exterior hose bibs. Always keep your heating unit on and operational, even when away on vacation. If leaving for an extended period of time, set your thermostat to no colder than 55 degrees to ensure that your home has enough heat to properly keep interior pipes from freezing. Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines located in that area. In extreme cases of sever cold for extended periods of time, ensure that exposed pipes are insulated. Space heaters (placed away from anything flammable) can provide heat and warmth to combat cold environments in garage areas.
If you notice very low water pressure from water supply areas, a frozen pipe could be the cause. Immediate action should be taken to identify the problem.

Q: What should I do if my pipes are already frozen?

A: Turn on all the faucets with warm water, not hot, to a slow drip. This will help in supplying warmer water to the area without causing an abrupt temperature change. It will also help you in determining the location of the freeze. Apply exterior heat to the frozen section of pipe. This can be done with a hair dryer, electric heating pad, space heater, towels soaked in warm water wrapped around the pipe. NEVER use open flame devices as this can be a major fire hazard. Keep continual heat on the area until water flow is restored to normal. Once restored, try to determine why the area froze. It may be as simple as adding insulation, sleeve wraps, UL listed heat tape, or other form of insulation. If you cannot locate, find, or properly thaw your pipes, call a professional plumber to assist.

Q: What if my pipes have burst and already caused damage?

A: If your pipes have busted, cracked, or began leaking, immediate action should be taken to ensure that water damage can be minimal to your property. Soak up as much water as possible with towels or extract with a shop vac. It’s often necessary to have professionals like SERVPRO come in and completely mitigate the water. Home drying efforts can help reduce damages, but will not get rid of all moisture and humidity. It’s important to ensure that your property is completely dry and dehumidified to prevent secondary damage from ruining your home, flooring, furnishings, or building materials. Call SERVPRO today if you’ve had water damage from a pipe leak, and we’ll work with you and/or your insurance company to make sure that your home is restored correctly!

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