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Tips homeowners may consider to prepare for cold snap

RENTON, Wash. – Bitter, cold temperatures are expected to last for the rest of this week.

That means heating and plumbing companies are gearing up for lots of work in the coming days.

We really don’t get this kind of extended cold snap that’s in store for us this week.

That’s why Q13 News hooked up with professionals who shared ideas to spare you expensive repair bills.

The ringing phones at Beacon Plumbing kept employees busy Monday morning.

“This isn’t going to last forever. We’re only talking about a week,” said owner Bill Cayhill.

The bright shining orb in the sky is what astronomers call the Sun. It’s not something we see very often in winter.

But its warmth won’t be enough to keep your pipes from freezing, or your heater from working overtime.

Cayhill says there are a few things homeowners can do right now to save themselves from headaches if their pipes freeze over.

First, he says, disconnect the garden hose– and don’t forget to cover the spigot. And, he says, don’t leave your garage door open – any exposed pipes there could get cold enough to freeze and burst.

And finally, don’t forget to prepare where you can inside the home.

“Open up the doors to the kitchen sink and let that air in there. Keep that warm air coming in to the kitchen sink,” he said.

Also, there are sometimes water pipes running under your house. Take Winter By Storm says a do-it-yourself insulation job can also help.

“There’s a number of different materials you can use,” said Karen Rich.

And, depending on where you live, some utility companies will inspect your home for other energy wasters – like checking for disconnected conduit, or concealed holes in the wall that lets all your expensive heat outside.

Taking some of these small steps now can keep a small problem from becoming big and expensive.

“They’re saving the plumber coming out, but the bigger thing they’re saving the damage to their home,” said Cayhill.

Also, don’t forget about leaving enough clearance around baseboard and portable heaters. Firefighters say clothing, blankets or other materials can catch fire if there isn’t at least 3 feet of clearance.