If you haven’t noticed it yet, winter is here. Hopefully, you already blew out your sprinkler lines before the cold broke. Even though we are smack dab in the middle of winter right now, there are a few handy tips the Tulsa homeowner may be able to use to survive the rest of the season.
Winter Survival Tips for the Tulsa Homeowner
One of the biggest hurdles a Tulsa homeowner may find is to avoid frozen and bursting pipes. In fact, earlier today, City officials reported a huge water break at the old Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Tulsa overnight. Due to the freezing temperatures outside, the streets and parking lot ended up covered in ice and slush this morning. Cold weather is definitely no friend to water pipes.
Always keep your faucets slightly open to allow them to drip. Keep garage doors closed to seal in warm air and keep out cold. If possible, turn off any water to outside faucets. Disconnect, drain and store your garden hoses inside your shed or garage. Open up cabinet doors under the sinks. This allows warm air to flow around the pipes underneath. Keep your main water shut-off key handy in case you need to use it. If the water line to your icemaker runs underneath your Tulsa home, set it to always make ice. That keeps a steady flow of water through the line. Stagnate water freezes easier.
Warming Up the Inside of Your Tulsa Home
Wood-burning stoves come in handy during cold Tulsa winters. But not everyone owns one. If you have a fireplace, make sure the flue is clear of any soot build-up. Also, keep plenty of firewood on hand. Close the blinds unless there is direct sunlight. Cover up window air conditioning units. Feel a draft from the windows? Install plastic sheeting to seal them up. Replace weathered caulking around windows and doors. Insulate electrical outlets with foam seals. You can find these at most home improvement stores.
Outside Your Tulsa Home
Danger lurks outside your home during the cold winter months. Tulsa homeowners need to take certain precautions to ensure that their loved ones stay safe coming to and leaving from their home. Spread ice melt/salt over walkways and driveways often. Avoid the dreaded “ice dam” by keeping gutters clear at all times. Cold weather constricts air pressure. So, check your tires. Even if they don’t have a leak, the pressure may lower simply due to the chilly temps. Fill your windshield wiper fluid reservoir with de-icer to help defrost your windows faster. Check the antifreeze level in your car.
In Case of Emergency
As a Tulsa homeowner, you want to be prepared for any emergency that comes your way. Keep a well-stocked pantry full of non-perishable food items. Make sure they are easy to open tops or keep a handheld can opener available. Bottled water’s a must as well. Install hooks above light switches around your home. Then, hang flashlights from them so they are within easy reach at all times. Stock up on batteries, candles, and matches. All Tulsa homes should have at least one working fire extinguisher per floor. Make sure you refill prescription medications well before they are due so you don’t run out. Never let your gas tank get below half full. Always charge your cell phone when not using it. If you have a propane generator, keep it outside or in a nearby shed to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. And make sure you have extra propane available. A chainsaw will come in handy to clear debris after any storm has passed.
So, dear Tulsa homeowner. Heed these winter survival tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and cozy. We’ve still got a way to go before the spring thaw. And we don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us yet.