Quick home fixes to keeping out the cold
You can use items you likely have at home.
It was a busy day Thursday at the Ace Hardware in Red Bank. Once people heard about the blast of arctic air heading our way, they came to buy supplies to keep out the cold.
"We've got weather stripping for doors and windows. We've got film kits to cover windows. Outside faucet covers. Pipe insulation," says store manager Ron Hannah.
But what if you can't make it to the hardware store before it closes? Hannah says you can use items you likely have at home.
"Outside faucets, you can wrap them with a towel and then either tape it on there or put a bucket over it to hold it there," adds Hannah.
He says always start with the outside faucets, then do the same for the indoor pipes. This will reduce the chance that they'll burst or crack, leading to a watery mess.
If a pipe does burst you'll need a street key to turn off the main water valve located at your water meter. Don't have a street key? Always know where the main valve is inside your home.
"You would probably find a shut-off valve near where the water line comes into the house or possibly near the water heater," says Hannah.
To avoid drafts, towels comes in handy again. Just roll some and place flush against the bottoms of the doors. Don't forget the windows.
"Hang a blanket over the opening and that will keep the cold air out and the heat in," adds Hannah.
But don't use duct tape for this job. It could make cleaning the walls tougher after you take down the blankets.
"If you leave it [the duct tape] there too long or it gets wet and then dries, it can leave a sticky residue and it's hard to get off the surface," explains Hannah. "I would use masking tape."
Also, keep the cabinets under your sinks open to let air circulate around the pipes, and keep your faucets on a slow drip.
Remember, the above tips are temporary quick fixes. For more reliable, permanent results visit your nearest hardware store.