Tips to protect your home from freezing temperatures

While the first official day of winter isn’t until December, winter-like temperatures will arrive in Mississippi as a cold front is set to make its way through the state. Lows across the state will drop into the teens overnight and light freezing rain & sleet is expected, so before you go to sleep, make sure your house is prepared.

One of the most important precautions to take is to protect your pipes from freezing. Handyman Buddy Slowik says that you need to make sure that your pipes are covered with insulation to keep them from freezing. If they are not insulated, you need to keep your faucets dripping when freezing conditions are present.

“If you live on what they call a conventional foundation, the piping is under your home. If it’s not insulated, it needs to be,” Slowik said. “That’s very important because that keeps things from freezing. Around here it’s the exception that we have freezing conditions; unlike up North where it’s the rule. So, it only happens occasionally, but when it does, some people suffer dearly because they didn’t properly prepare.”

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is also making sure you’re ready for the cold weather by sharing the following tips. 

PREPARE YOUR HOME AND FAMILY:

  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip slightly during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves, in the case of a pipe bursting.
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.

PREPARE YOUR CAR:

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels: ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system: should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes: check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Heater and defroster: ensure they are working properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights: ensure they are working properly.
  • Gas tank: Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
Courtesy of NWS
Courtesy of NWS
Courtesy of NWS