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​Five easy last-minute tips to prevent cold-weather woes

Freezing temperatures can damage pipes and hoses

Small tasks can make a big difference in an overnight freeze.

If the weatherman is predicting an icy blast for tomorrow, don’t panic!

Even if you haven’t gotten around to that list of winter-preparedness chores you’ve been meaning to take care of, you still have time to save your home and cars from the worst of winter’s woes.

In less than an hour, you can follow these five tips from the experts at PEMCO:

  1. Disconnect your garden hoses and cover your outdoor faucets. If you don’t, water that’s trapped in the pipe can freeze, expand, and burst the pipe. After disconnecting the hose, cover your faucets with Styrofoam™ protectors available at any hardware store. Even wrapping your faucet with a dry rag or hand towel will help. Under ideal circumstances, you’ll want to take care of your faucets before the first freeze of fall.
  2. 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.
  3. Clear steps and porches of snow and ice. Swing by a hardware store and 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.
  4. Keep barbecues and generators OUTSIDE to reduce the risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
  5. Test your car’s coolant if you think it’s mostly water. If you’ve been topping off your car’s coolant reser​voir with water instead of antifreeze, it may be too diluted to protect your engine when the mercury plummets. You can pick up a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use antifreeze tester at auto supply stores to learn the temperature at which your protection ends.

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