If you're at your best when the clock is ticking, these tips are for you! With a trip to the hardware store and only an hour to spare, you can protect your home and car from a looming cold snap. Here's what to do:
Disconnect your garden hoses and cover your outdoor faucets. That will prevent water that's trapped in the pipe from freezing, expanding and bursting the pipe. After disconnecting the hose, cover your faucets with foam protectors from the hardware store. Even wrapping your faucet with a dry rag or hand towel will help.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks located near outside walls. Outside walls are the coldest part of your house, and leaving under-sink doors open will allow warm air from inside the house to circulate, keeping pipes warm. Set the heat no lower than 55 degrees, even if you won't be home.
- Clear steps and porches of snow and ice. At the hardware store, pick up de-icing granules that won't discolor cement and sprinkle them according to package directions. You could save yourself or a neighbor from a nasty fall.
- Test your car's coolant if you think it's mostly water. If you've been topping off your car's coolant reservoir with water instead of antifreeze, it may be too diluted to protect your engine when the mercury plummets. Pick up an easy-to-use antifreeze tester to learn the temperature at which your protection ends.
- Pull your car into the garage, if that's an option. You'll save yourself from scraping windows in the morning. Plus, your warmer garage can help preserve your vehicle's battery which could be sapped by frigid temperatures in your driveway.
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