DENVER (KDVR) — An arctic front moving in will drop temperatures across the state to dangerously low numbers over the next few days.
Whether you’re new to Colorado or have been here for decades, this is not a normal event. A Pinpoint Weather Alert Day has been issued for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of the extreme weather.
There are ways to prepare for this cold snap and prevent disasters from happening.
How to prep your home before the cold hits
Denver Water provided a list of things to do ahead of the cold moving in:
- Learn the location of your home’s water shut-off valve. If a pipe breaks, you’ll need to shut off the water to your house to minimize damage. In most single-family homes, the valve is in the basement or crawl space, on a wall facing the street.
- Make sure everyone in your household knows how to shut off the water.
- Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold, such as those along exterior walls and in unheated basements.
What to do when extreme cold arrives
As soon as the temperatures drop, Denver Water says to do these things:
- Keep cabinet doors open leading to exposed pipes (such as access doors for sinks), so that household air can warm them.
- If you have an attached garage, keep the doors shut. Occasionally, plumbing is routed through this unheated space, leaving it vulnerable to winter’s worst.
- Turn on a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house. A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses.
- Keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days.
What to do if you think a pipe is frozen
Don’t ignore it! Denver Water suggests to:
- Thaw the pipe as soon as possible or call a plumber for help.
- If you thaw it yourself, shut off the water or test the shut-off valve. You don’t want water suddenly gushing from the pipe when it thaws.
- When thawing, slower is better. Pipes warmed too fast may break. A hair dryer pointed at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate. A blow torch is not.
It’s important to take precautions to keep you and your home safe during extremely low temperatures.