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Winter weather tips for renters

Winter is fast approaching so we’ve put together a few tips to keep tenants and their families safe and warm.

  • Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice.
  • Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Keep gutters free of leaves and debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house.
  • Keep the house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
  • If your home uses oil heat keep an eye on the level of the oil, even if the owner is responsible for filling the tank.  If you see the tank getting low and the oil company hasn’t been by to fill it up recently let us know so we can make arrangements for a delivery.
  • Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.  If you are unsure of where this is please contact us!
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
  • If you haven’t already, make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.
  • If your garage is attached to your house, keep the garage doors closed. The door leading to the house is probably not as well-insulated as an exterior door.
  • If ice forms on tree limbs, watch for dead, damaged or dangerous branches that could break and fall because of ice, snow or wind and damage your house, a car, or injure someone walking near your property.
  • If you use fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters, watch them closely and make sure they are working properly.
  • Remember to close the flue in your fireplace when you’re not using it.
  • If you have to leave your home on a trip, ask a neighbor to check the house regularly. If there is a problem with frozen pipes or water leakage, attending to it quickly could mean far less damage.
  • If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst! Take measures to thaw them and call the maintenance line immediately for assistance.
  • If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. You don’t want the water to do more damage than it already has.  Again, call the maintenance line immediately if you suspect a burst pipe.

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