DETROIT (WWJ) – More than half a million homes and businesses in Metro Detroit are in the midst of a days-long power outage due to gale force winds earlier this week and now, Mother Nature is about to make things a lot more complicated with freezing cold temperatures.
Forecasters say temperatures are expected to stay near or below freezing all weekend, with overnight lows in the teens or 20s.
If you’re still without power and are worried about “frozen pipes” with the cold weather expected this weekend — fear not. Adam Helfman, the home maintenance-and-repair expert of Hire it Done, says the solution is simple and two-fold.
Step one — open the doors on any cabinets that house pipes, especially along the outside walls of your home.
“When the power is out, you have no heat to heat up your pipes,” he said. “Take the faucets in your bathrooms and any plumbing on an outer wall of your home, take the cabinet doors and leave them open so that warm air throughout the house can flow into the bottom of the cabinet.”
Step two — turn on the one thing that is still working in your house: the water. Helfman says you should run the water in your bathrooms and kitchen to a pencil-thin trickle, because running water doesn’t freeze.
“If the pipes freeze but they don’t split, you’re OK,” he said. “It’s when the pipe splits and then the water thaws, is when all the water starts running into your house.”
Helfman says you should also leave your appliances and electronics unplugged while the power is out.
“If you have appliances like a big screen TV, computers, you might want to unplug them until the power comes back on because a power surge sometimes could ruin electronic devices,” he said.
For more home maintenance and repair tips, listen to “Hire it Done” live every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., on 97.1 The Ticket.