How to avoid costly damage to your home during freezing weather

Freezing temperatures that are hitting our area this week could cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t prep your home, experts say. 

For homeowners, their outdoor hose faucet could be the reason they end up paying hundreds or thousands in damages following this winter blast, one expert says.

When the temperature dips below 32 degrees, your pipes are at risk of freezing. The frozen water inside the pipe expands and can affect the structural integrity of the pipe. Experts say this can lead to expensive damage.

"It kind of becomes a nightmare for most people, you know, to have this happen to them, especially during a time when there is a little bit of panic because of the possible snow," said Dan Woolcott.


Woolcott works at Bob Oates Sewer and Rooter, a plumbing company in Kent.

He says they are expecting an increase in calls at the end of the week, as folks realize the damaging impacts from the freezing temperatures.

But there are simple ways to avoid this headache.

First, remove the hose from the outdoor faucet (known as a hose bib). Then, place a hose bib cover over the faucet. If you don’t have a cover, they can be purchased for $3 and up online or at home improvement stores.

If you are unable to purchase a cover, Woolcott says you can also let water drip through the faucet to prevent them from freezing. He says to do this until the temperatures return to above freezing.

It’s not just pipes to keep an eye on.

RELATED: Several school districts to continue remote learning on snow days

Seattle Fire officials say they respond to an increasing number of calls throughout the winter due to folks trying to warm up.

"We want everyone to stay warm, but we want everyone to stay safe," said Debbie Goetz with the Seattle Fire Department.

She says these tips will keep you warm and safe this week:

  1. Stay in the room, if you’re using a space heater
  2. Plug space heaters directly into the wall
  3. Do not use extension cords, or overload outlets when using space heaters
  4. Turn space heaters off when you leave the room
  5. Chimneys should be clean/inspected before use
  6. Open chimney flue before lighting the fire
  7. Burn dry wood
  8. Make sure smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors are working

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