Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Your Guide to Winter Weather Preparedness

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Your Guide to Winter Weather Preparedness

 

Winter weather can strike quickly and fiercely, and it can create an array of issues for homeowners.  When a winter storm causes a power outage, however, things can turn costly and dangerous very quickly.  The most important thing one can do to keep safe during a winter storm and/or power outage is to be prepared.  Here are some things you can do to make sure that you will stay safe and warm.

 

 


Keep these things on hand… And if you don’t have any, get some!

 

Prescriptions and Common Medications

 

If any member of your home takes medication daily, you will want to be sure, first and foremost, that you will not run out of the medications, should inclement weather strike.  It’s also a good idea to keep common over-the-counter medications on hand, just in case you should need them while you are stuck at home.

 

Stock Up on Food

 

It’s important that you have enough food at home to last you at least three days, should a storm leave you stranded at home or cause a power outage.  If the power goes out, make sure that you have a sufficient supply of food that doesn’t need to be cooked before it is consumed. 

If you want to cook while your power is out, and you want to do so with a camping stove or other appliance outside of your kitchen, it is imperative that you take the camping stove outside to cook your meal. 

 

Stock Up on Water

 

To plan for how much water to have on hand in the case of a power outage, account for one gallon per person per day, not including cooking or hygiene purposes.

 

Back-Up Power

Should a storm knock out your power, you should have a back-up source of electricity, if it is financially feasible for you to do so.  If you use a generator, however, keep it outside, and NEVER bring it inside your house or garage.  If you are planning on using a generator, be sure that you have the proper length of outdoor extension cord to bring the power into your house. 

 

Flashlights, Batteries, & Candles

 

Make sure that you have a surplus of batteries, and that you have enough flashlights and battery-operated lamps to get you through.  Flashlights and battery-operated lamps are a lot safer than candles, so be sure that you have enough of them.  Also, gather them and store them in a handy place before the bad weather hits.  Should you run out of batteries, use candles as a last resort.  Exercise all safety precautions when burning candles.  Never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything flammable, keep them out of reach of pets and children, and never leave them burning overnight.

 

Keep a Weather Radio on Hand & Know the Terms

 

If you constantly are checking the weather on your cell phone during a power outage, you will quickly drain your power and have no way to restore it.  To monitor the weather without draining your cell phone battery, purchase a weather radio and check it occasionally for any updates to the forecast.  Here are the weather terms often used during a winter storm and what they mean, for those of you who might not know:

Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

 

Buy De-Icer and Salt Ahead of Time

 

Keep a stock of salt and de-icer spray on hand in case of icy or snowy conditions.  Even the slightest bit of ice can lead to injury, so it’s better to keep it on hand than to be caught without it.

 

Fire Extinguisher

 

Be sure that your home has a fire extinguisher on hand (that is not past its expiration date).  If the power outage should lead to a fire, for whatever reason, you will be happy that you have it.

 

Heat packs

 

Buy yourself a large pack of heat packs before the storm, in case you lose power and heat.  They can keep the blood flow going, keep you comfortable, and they’re great to stick in your socks or mittens!

 

 

Prepare!

 

Ease of Access

 

Before a storm hits, you should gather all the supplies you may need, as well as the ones you just purchased, and store them in an easily-accessible location.  This way, you won’t be fumbling around in the dark looking for flashlights and batteries before you take the precautions necessary in a winter power outage.

 

Make Sure Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Working

 

The risk for carbon monoxide poisoning increases drastically in the bitter cold and during winter power outages.  NEVER turn to alternative forms of heating; their use often results in carbon monoxide poisoning or house fires.  If you are without power and your home is cold, contact your local emergency services to find a local community center that is offering warm lodging, rather than trying to heat your home in an unsafe way.

 

Fully Charge Your Electronics

 

Devices like your cell phone or tablets should be fully charged before a winter storm hits, so that if the power goes out, you are ahead of the game.  If at all possible, purchase a portable charger and be sure that it is fully charged, as well, so that you can extend the life of your cell phone’s charge.  Your cell phone can be a great tool to have in a winter storm, so that you can keep an eye on conditions, keep up on when power will be restored, and call for help should an emergency situation arise. 

 

Cozy Up!

 

Have a supply of warm blankets and sleeping bags set aside in case you lose heat to your home.  Having these handy, layer them, and stay under them for as long as possible to keep yourself warm.

Sleep together!  The more body heat under a blanket, the better!

Dress in layers to preserve your own body heat.

 

Garage Door

 

Find out how to manually open your garage door before the winter weather hits, especially if that is the primary way that you get in and out of your house.

 

Turn Off Electronics

 

As a precaution, you should turn off and unplug any electronics that do not need to be on before a winter storm hits.  This will help protect your devices in case the power surges.  If your power is already out, and your devices are still plugged in, unplug them.  It’s very common for the power to surge before it is restored fully and back to normal. 


Clean & Inspect Chimney

 

If your home has a chimney, clean and inspect it fully before a winter storm hits, especially if you plan on using it to help heat your home.  An improperly-kept chimney can lead to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you burn wood to either heat your home or burn in your fireplace, cover your wood pile well before a winter storm hits, so that it can remain dry but accessible.

 

 

Winter Weather/Power Outage Hacks

 

Trap the Heat

 

Even if you are using a generator to heat your home, shut the vents for rooms you don’t use, shut the doors, and lay a towel against the crack at the bottom.  This will help you conserve fuel by heating your house quicker, thus allowing you to turn off the generator faster. 

 

Avoid Frozen Pipes

 

Here is a list of ways to prevent your pipes from freezing in the winter.  Should you lose heat, turn your faucets on a slow drip.

 

Perishable Items

 

After 24 hours, the food in your refrigerator may be compromised.  After 48, the food in your freezer may be compromised.  However, given that this is a winter storm, you have some options to save that food.  Packing refrigerated and frozen foods in ice can help you keep them cooler, longer, so keep a cooler and a few bags of ice on hand.  Pack your food in the cooler with ice, and store the cooler outside.  If the temperatures are below freezing, your ice should last quite a long time.  If the temperatures rise above freezing, your ice will last a long time, as well, but it is a good idea that you occasionally check to see if it needs more, in that case.

 

Drink Coffee! …Or tea! …Or hot chocolate!

 

The important thing is that you occasionally drink a hot beverage.  Drinking a hot beverage raises your body’s core temperature, which helps keep your extremities, especially your fingers and toes, warm. 

 

Cardio to Fight the Chill

 

When you feel yourself becoming very chilled, try doing five minutes’ worth of jumping jacks or high knees.  This increased blood flow helps warm your body’s core temperature.  Be sure not to do so much that you sweat, thus dampening your clothes, as that will lead to you being even colder when your heart rate normalizes again.

 

Know When to Close the Curtains

 

Opening your curtains on a sunny day can bring natural heat into your home.  Even during the winter months, open your curtains when the sun is shining and shut them as it begins to go down, trapping the heat inside.

To really help trap that heat, consider hanging quilts or blankets over your curtain rods during a power outage.  This will help keep the heat in your home.

 

Park Facing East

 

Before a snow or ice storm hits, park your car with your windshield facing east, if at all possible.  This will allow the morning sun to hit your windshield, and it may make your car-clearing project a little easier after the snow or ice hits.

 

Gas Up Your Car

 

You always want to make sure that your car has a full tank of gas before a winter storm, for a number of reasons.  For instance, if you are driving, and you get stuck in a winter storm or in traffic, you will want enough gas to get you home and keep you warm through the ordeal.  Also, a full tank of gas adds some weight to your vehicle, which, in the case of a snow storm, can make your vehicle a lot easier to manage. 

You should also be carrying a winter weather emergency kit in your car.  For some guidance in regards to what is best to keep in these kits, click here.

 

 

As with all of the tips and lists that we post, this is not a completely comprehensive instruction manual, but rather a guide to give you an idea of what to do.  If you experience an emergency, do not hesitate to contact your local emergency services immediately.  Always exercise every safety precaution, and thoroughly read through any instruction manual that came along with any of your equipment.

2017 St. Louis Housing Forecast

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

2017 St. Louis Real Estate Forecast

 

2016 was a great year for real estate, and, as we look ahead to 2017, there are general predictions that can be made, both nationally and locally.  While national trends always have an effect on local markets, that doesn’t mean that what happens nationally will apply to anyone’s local market across the board.  However, to better understand and expect what’s to come in your local market, it’s important to keep in mind what’s happening nationally.

 

 

Realtor.com® has presented a comprehensive list of expectations for the 2017 national housing market.  In this forecast, they have indicated some important trends.  Over the last few years, the real estate market has been growing rapidly.  This trend is expected to slow in 2017, but, although that seems alarming to the state of the housing market, it actually indicates that the market is finally stabilizing.  The national real estate market is expected to slow in 2017, but it is also expected to maintain moderate growth.  Nationally, home prices are expected to increase 3.9%, and existing home sales are expected to increase 1.9%.  These are both great announcements for sellers, because it translates to the fact that sellers will be, generally, getting more money for their homes in the coming year.  For buyers, there may be indications that the time to Buy in the US is earlier in the year, because interest rates are expected to reach 4.5% this year.  Realtor.com® is also forecasting that home ownership rates will stabilize at 63.5% after bottoming out at 63.9% in 2016.  They are also forecasting that new home sales are expected to grow 10%

 

There are certain trends that are driving the 2017 market predictions.  For instance, there will be a surge in buyers, leading to a seller’s market, due to the fact that many people will be looking to Buy homes this year.  There are two major demographics expecting to drive the market, Millennials and Baby Boomers.  Millennials have reached an age where they are thinking about marriage and children, leading them to desire home ownership over rental.  Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are thinking about downsizing, now that they are looking toward retirement and their kids have grown and left their homes.  These two huge groups will comprise the majority of the market this year.  Also predicted by Realtor.com® is that there are expected to be fewer homes on the market, leading to fast-moving markets.

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by Realtor.com® (http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-real-estate-trends-2017/)

 

Looking forward to 2017 on a local level is best done by looking back to the numbers for the end of 2016 by St. Louis REALTORS®.  Anyone close to the housing market can tell you that November is historically a slower month in home sales, but that was far from the truth for November 2016, when home sales jumped an incredible 31%.  Comparatively, 1,438 homes sold in November 2016, while in 2015, 1,094 homes sold.  Even with strong sales, home prices remained affordable at $164,500, despite a slight increase from the previous November, when the median sales price was $150,000.  The amount of time that homes were on the market also decreased from 172 to 117 in November 2016 from November 2015.

 

According to John Gormley, St. Louis REALTORS® CEO, there are two trends that drove this jump in sales for November 2016.  St. Louis is maintaining a level of affordable housing, and buyers are also concerned about rising interest rates, driving them to take the plunge and enter the market.  “Those two drivers served as the underpinnings of our whopping double-digit home sales growth in November.  We’ve discussed the remarkable housing affordability in St. Louis throughout 2016.  Obviously, buyers have been listening and paying attention to the Federal Reserve’s public comments about raising interest rates,” says Gormley. (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf).  As indicated by the national predictions, it is likely that these circumstances will continue driving trends for 2017, as well.

 

As for the 2017 outlook, it looks strong, but if there’s anything that November 2017 taught us, it’s that sometimes the best predictions can be wrong.  “It’s true no one knows exactly what interest rates will do in the coming year, but there’s a good bet they won’t be going down.  So, if you’ve been waiting to Buy a home, it’s time to jump off the fence as mortgage rates are expected to increase at least two or three times next year,” Gormley continues.  “What that means for buyers in St. Louis is that it’s time to engage a St. Louis REALTOR® to find your home and lock in the best rate now, so you can Buy the home you want at a price you can afford.” (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf).

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by St. Louis REALTORS® (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf)

 

 

Southern Illinois' 2017 Housing Forecast

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Southern Illinois Housing Market Forecasts for 2017

 

2016 was a good year for real estate, and the trends tracked in that year are giving housing market and financial forecasters a lot of good information regarding the trends that will come with this new year.

 

By looking at the trends that were happening in 2016, we can get a better idea of what will happen in 2017.

 

 

Buyers in Illinois were extremely motivated in November, and because of that, sellers benefitted.  To start out 2017, the trend seems to be indicating an increase in Illinois home sales.  Home sales in Illinois during November 2016 gained momentum, as indicated by double-digit increases in annual home sales.  Statewide home sales are up 14.8% in November 2016 in comparison to November 2015.  Also rising are the gains in median home prices, meaning that there aren’t just more homes selling as of lately, but that the price at which those homes are selling is increasing, as well.  Statewide, median home sale prices are up 7.9% from November 2015 to November 2016.

 

Also trending in an exciting way is the time that a home spends on the market.  In November of 2015,  the average amount of time that a home spent on the market before selling was 68 days in Illinois.  In November of 2016, however, homes only spent an average of 62 days on the market before selling. 

 

From 2015 to 2016, available housing decreased 14.7% in Southern Illinois.  While at a glance, this number may seem like a bad thing for the housing industry, all that it means is that the market is great for sellers.  There are a number of reasons for this, from the demand increasing due to an increased amount of Millennials purchasing homes, an increased number of Baby Boomers buying smaller homes, the largest wage increase going to people ages 35-34, and an infinite number of other reasons.  This trend, in particular, is a driving force of the other trends happening in the market.  Where there is a discrepancy in supply and demand, there is always a group benefitting from that difference. 

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by Illinois Realtor® (http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/node/4142) and Realtor.com® (http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-real-estate-trends-2017/)

 

On an extremely local level, it’s worth noting that St. Clair and Randolph counties are reporting record numbers of year-to-date home sales in November.  In fact, these two counties have seen more homes sold in November 2016 than the total of the previous five Novembers

 

As far as the amount of time that a home is on the market before it sells, St. Clair County saw a 26% decrease during November 2016 from November 2015.  As for Monroe County, there was an incredible 53.8% decrease in the days on market!

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by the Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois (http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

Although this information may seem frightening for those looking to Buy a home this year, this information should be taken with consideration.  The market may be benefitting the sellers a bit more than the buyers, but that doesn’t mean that buyers are seeing negative consequences of the market.  It simply means that currently, there’s a seller’s market in local real estate.  As the President of the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois, Mike Gross puts it, “Now is a great time to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the Metro-East Housing Market… Interest rates are anticipated to inch higher, median home prices are stable, and homes are selling at a faster pace than years past, and sellers are seeing the benefits.  At the same time, buyers are still able to purchase homes at affordable and stable prices.  The Metro-East offers so many great opportunities to build a future.” (Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois, “Metro East Housing Stats” http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

According to Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, the median price of homes sold in Illinois is expected to increase any level from 2.1 to 6.9 percent this year.  The National Association of Realtors® expects home sales in the US to grow modestly in 2017, which would be indicative of the market stabilizing, a great sign for the housing industry.  Although local market trends are so much more important than national ones in regards to what home buyers or sellers should be worried about, there is often a slight correlation, if not with all trends, then with some.  From the way sales nationally and locally went in the real estate industry for 2016, 2017 seems like it’s on the right track.

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by the Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois (http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

2017 really does seem like the right time to Buy or sell in Southern Illinois!

Contact The Linda Frierdich Group of Century 21 Advantage today to discuss your real estate needs!

618.719.3134 IL | 314.649.0221 MO

YOURHOMERESOURCE.COM

goteamlinda@gmail.com

Car Winter Safety Kit

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Car Winter Safety Kit 

 

As the winter season settles in, so does the deep cold weather.  The frigid chill that comes along with winter is more than just uncomfortable to endure; it can be deadly.  Every year, tragic stories of stranded motorists facing the challenges of frostbite and exposure to the cold, or sometimes, even death, because they found themselves stranded in a ditch or snow bank with no way out of their vehicle and no cold weather provisions with them. 

 

Maintaining a “Cold Weather Emergency Kit” in your vehicle is not only a good idea, it can be a life-saver.  Winter weather brings foul weather that can lead to slick roads, which can lead to your car finding its way into a ditch or embankment.  In the unfortunate event that this happens, you will be extremely thankful that you’re equipped with survival provisions.  Here is a list of some items that you should include in your car safety kit, should you decide to assemble one.

 


Water in small bottles

 


Water is essential for survival, and even in the dead of winter, no one would like to find themselves stranded with no water available.  To account for the colder temperatures, you should be storing water in small bottles, because the smaller the bottle, the quicker the water will thaw.

 

Spare cell phone charger

 


Most people carry spare cell phone chargers in their car normally, but during the winter, it is imperative that you don’t remove that charger from your car.  In the event that you do get stranded in your vehicle, a dead phone will give no assistance in alerting emergency crews that you are there.

 

Jumper cables or a portable battery charger

 


To ensure that you don’t have to endure the cold, no matter if you’re stranded in a ditch or stranded in a parking lot, it’s important that you prepare for a dead car battery by keeping a spare set of jumper cables in your car, or, better yet, a portable battery charger.  A portable battery charger eliminates the need to have another vehicle with a charged battery present for you to jump your car’s battery.

 

Energy-boosting snacks

 


Keep a handful of nutritious snacks in your car, such as energy or protein bars.  Should you find yourself in a scary winter predicament, you will be fighting hunger as well as exhaustion in the cold weather.  Prepare for that with non-perishable healthy snacks.

 

Tire pressure gauge and sealant

 


Changes in temperature lead to changes in pressure, whether that is in regards to the weather system moving across the country or the air in your vehicle’s tires.  Should you develop a flat, you will want to have a tire pressure gauge to fill your tire up to the proper pressure again.  Should you find yourself with a hole in your tire, you will want to be equipped with a sealant that will enable you to hold enough air in your tire until you can make it somewhere safe.

 

Tire jack and lug wrench

 


Everyone should know how to change a tire, because you never can tell what situation you will find yourself in.  Keep a tire jack and lug wrench in your vehicle, because if you should need to change your tire, you will need both of those tools.  Even if someone else pulls over to help you, they, still, will need those tools to do so.

 

Hand warmers

 


Hand warmers are cheap and sold in large packages.  It is an excellent idea to purchase a large package of these items to keep in your vehicle to help you maintain temperature and blood flow to your extremities, especially your fingers and toes, which become very vulnerable in extreme cold.

 

First-aid kit

 


In the event of a car accident, one would hardly think that a first-aid kit would suffice for caring for any injuries incurred.  However, if someone was injured in a car accident and was stranded from immediate help, they likely would be happy to have the first aid kit in comparison to no medical items. 

 

Tow strap

 


If you find your vehicle stuck in the snow or ice, you may call someone to help you, or you find that a nice citizen has stopped to help you.  Sometimes, to get a car out of the snow, all it takes is a little push.  However, sometimes, it can take a bit more.  Buy tow straps and keep them in your trunk, because that’s the only fool-proof way to be sure that you will be getting your vehicle un-stuck.

 

Head lamp or hand crank flashlight

 


A flashlight should be kept in your vehicle during all months of the year, because car accidents and/or malfunctions do not only happen during the daylight hours.  A hand-crank flashlight is a great vehicle accessory, due to the fact that it will never run out of power, as long as the operator can crank it.

 

Snow shovel and ice scraper

 


A snow shovel can be extremely helpful, should your vehicle become stuck in the snow.  An ice scraper is important to keep in your vehicle at all times, simply because winter weather can happen at any time.

 

Multi-tool

 


A multi-tool pocket knife is also extremely helpful to keep in your car.  Not only can it help you escape your seatbelt, should you not be able to unbuckle, it can also help you with virtually any need you may have in an emergency situation.

 

Warm blanket or sleeping bag

 


A heavy blanket should remain in your vehicle all winter long, but if you want to be especially prepared for a disaster, you should consider purchasing a cold weather sleeping bag.  A sleeping bag built for cold weather can help prevent frostbite and will be more waterproof than a blanket, making it a great survival tool.

 

Winter garb

 


Keep a winter coat, a warm hat, and gloves in your vehicle.  Sometimes we run out of the house iwhtout a coat on.  However, if you found yourself in a car in the bitter cold, with no heater, you would be longing for a winter coat in little time, at all.

 

Road flares/Hazard triangles

 


This may seem excessive, but when discussing the bitter cold weather, it is certainly better to be prepared than to find yourself in an unfortunate situation without the emergency tools needed.  A road flare can help you be seen, even when your vehicle isn’t easily spotted from the road.  Road hazard triangles can help alert other drivers that your vehicle is ahead, especially helpful on a curvy road.

 

 

While this list, like all of ours, is not comprehensive, it certainly is a great tool to begin compiling a winter safety kit for your vehicle.


How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Your Home

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes

 

Every Winter, it happens.  The temperature outside drops, and an unfortunate person wakes up to a flooded basement, kitchen, or bathroom.  A burst pipe in one’s home can cause thousands of dollars in damage, in addition to a huge mess and loss of important documents, memorabilia, and keepsakes. 

 


 

If you are planning a trip over the colder winter months, it is so important that you remember to turn off your home’s main water valve while you’re gone.  Frozen pipes can happen at any time, and they can prove extremely costly to a homeowner, even when found and noticed very quickly.  Standing water in one’s home for a number of days during an absence is something to avoid at all costs, and that’s why it’s suggested that you simply turn off your home’s water valve any time you will be leaving for more than a day.

 

Although it may seem like there is little that can be done to prevent frozen pipes when the weather turns bitter cold, there are some signs you can look out for that may alert you that your pipes are at risk of freezing or are in the process of freezing.  The most important and most effective way of predicting a frozen pipe is a change in water pressure.  If a faucet or toilet is flowing at a lower pressure than normal, it’s likely a sign that your pipes are freezing or have already frozen.  If you notice this happening in your home, it’s important to try to thaw the pipe at risk with some of the tips offered below. 

 

You should know the risk level for frozen pipes within your own home.  For instance, older homes are often poorly insulated, leading to a much higher risk of burst water pipes.  This risk becomes even higher if the old home is situated over an uninsulated crawl space.  It is important to know what steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes, as well as what to do in the event of a frozen pipe within your home.

 


Wrap the Pipe

 

You can wrap any non-insulated pipes in insulation foam or heating tape to give them extra protection from the cold temperatures.  Both products are relatively inexpensive, especially when weighed against the potential costs of a burst pipe in your home.

 

If you find yourself in a situation where your pipes are already at risk of freezing, or if you notice a change in your water pressure, you will want to act quickly, and a trip to the hardware store to purchase insulation foam or heat tape is not in your best interest due to the time-sensitive nature of the situation.  In a case such as this, there are some quick actions you can take to prevent the pipe from freezing completely.  The goal is to cease any further freezing as quickly as possible, and then work on thawing any freezing that may have already occurred. 

 

Newspaper as Insulation

 

If you have no heat tape or insulation foam on hand, but have noticed a pipe in your home is freezing, wrapping your pipe in newspaper can be an adequate insulator in a pinch.  It can create a nice barrier between the cold temperatures and the pipe. 

 

Foam Board Insulation

 

Another adequate insulator when you are in a pinch is foam poster board for large areas that need extra insulation.  Placing the foam board around a section of pipes that are at-risk of freezing can be the difference between a frozen pipe and a thawed pipe.  While this is certainly not the recommended way to insulate your pipes, it is certainly worth a shot in a pinch.

 

Use a Hair Dryer

 

If you see a pipe freezing, grab a hair dryer and an extension cord and begin blowing hot air on the pipe of concern. 

 

Never, never, use a torch or open flame to thaw your pipes.  Even the smallest ember can ignite and smolder for days.  Many homes have burned to the ground as a result of this method of thawing frozen pipes; don’t let yours be the next statistic.  A hairdryer will get the job done just fine.

 

Use a Space Heater

 

If you notice that your pipes are freezing, plug in a space heater to begin raising the temperature in the area where the at-risk pipes are.  Remember, your goal is not to make the space comfortable and cozy, your goal is to raise the temperature above freezing.  As with the use of a space heater at any time, follow the recommended safety guidelines for your particular model, and keep the heater and cord away from anything that could ignite.

 

Open Cabinet Doors

 

If you find that the temperature is drastically colder under your sink than in your home, it’s not a bad idea to open the cabinet doors to allow the temperature around the pipes to rise, especially on those particularly cold nights.  This simple act can prevent a flooded kitchen or bathroom.

 

Turn Up the Heat

 

If you are at-risk for frozen pipes, especially if you live in an older home with poor insulation, it’s a good idea to turn up your thermostat during the bitter cold.  A higher utility bill is certainly cheaper than the cost of a frozen pipe.

 

Keep Your Garage Door Closed

 

By keeping your garage door closed, you are allowing the temperature inside it to rise more than the outside temperature, which can prevent any pipes around that area from freezing.  Pipes don’t need to be toasty warm to prevent freezing; they only need to maintain a temperature above freezing.

 

Check Your Heat Tape Annually

 

If you have insulated your pipes with heat tape or foam installation, it is imperative that you check your insulation once a year.  Make sure that the insulation you have installed isn’t peeling, falling off, or showing signs of damage in any way.  If you notice that there are some trouble spots with the insulation you have around your pipes, be sure to replace and repair them.

 

Take Necessary Precautions on Vulnerable Outdoor Faucets


The biggest risk every home has for a frozen pipe is within the outdoor faucets.  Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you have already disconnected your hoses from your outdoor faucet.  However, there is a bit more that you can do to protect those pipes in addition to disconnecting your hose.  Here’s a guide for safeguarding your outdoor faucets:


  1.  
    1. If your home’s outdoor faucet is equipped with an indoor shut-off valve, shut it.
    2. Place a bucket under the drain cap and open the cap to begin draining the water.
    3. Go outside and turn on the faucet until it runs dry.
    4. Once the faucet is cleared, turn off the exterior faucet and close the drain cap inside the house.


Following these steps will ensure that your exterior faucet has no water in the sillcock or hose bibb.  If there is water in those places, it is likely to freeze, which will cause the change in water pressure that leads to busted pipes.

 

If your home is not equipped with an indoor shut-off valve, the best thing you can do to safeguard the faucet from freezing is to make sure that the faucet does not drip.  Even a slow drip can freeze, causing a blockage in the hose bib.

 

A frozen pipe can lead to thousands of dollars in damage to a home.  Knowing your home's risk level, as well as knowing what to do in the event that a pipe freezes in your home, can be invaluable information to have.  The more prepared you are, the better your chances are of preventing damage to your home's pipes at all.


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group Real Estate
The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group
Century 21 Advantage
103 S Main St
Columbia IL 62236
IL: 618.281.7621

138 Concord Plaza Dr
Saint Louis MO 63128
MO: 314.649.0221
Fax: 618.281.4311

Linda Frierdich is the area's premier real estate professional, offering services in St Louis, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Crestwood, Ballwin, Arnold, Fenton, Oakville, Columbia, Waterloo, Millstadt, Valmeyer, Dupo, Belleville, O'Fallon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, Smithton, Ruma, Hecker, New Athens, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Caseyville, Shiloh, Swansea, Monroe County, Madison County, St Clair County, and Randolph County.  Her team focuses on resale homes, new construction, first time home buyers, condos, farms, land sales, subdivisions, lot sales, single family, multi-family, commercial, foreclosures, bank owned property, military relocation, and building. This site offers options to search real estate in Columbia Illinois and other areas. We offer buyer and sellers services second to none!

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in your real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact Us

Our offices are located at:
103 South Main, Columbia, IL 62236
- or -
138 Concord Plaza Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63128

618.444.4255
FAX: 618.281.4311