By Anessa V. Cohen
Well, it has been quite a winter this year so far. I don’t know which one I am sick of more—the heavy snows we seem to be accumulating these many weeks or the arctic temperatures that seem to have no forecast indication of abating anytime soon.
The new game we all play in town is comparing the numbers coming up on our outside thermometers as the temperatures drop to obscenely low numbers and we learn to deal with the single-digit temperatures on a daily basis as opposed to a phenomenon happening once in an entire winter season.
The temperatures have remained so low that people are not only comparing the temperatures outside, but the temperatures in their garages and even some parts of the house which cannot seem to climb higher than the range of 50–60 degrees without a lot of extra assistance, whether by keeping thermostats higher than usual, especially at night, so the temperature doesn’t drop down and then take a long time to go back up again, or by adding extra insulation where previously they did not bother.
The only positive thing I have read about these frigid temperatures is from forest scientists who state that these single-digit temperatures will probably freeze and kill all the invasive bugs that have been infecting our forests—especially those foreign beetles that have been decimating our tree populations over these last years due to previous warm winters. This intensive cold will revitalize our infested forests!
That being said, these last few days have found all the winter-break vacationers dribbling slowly back to the neighborhood with tanned faces and relaxed dispositions after enjoying themselves while leaving the rest of us here to shovel and salt. The parking in town has started to revert to the insane as everyone goes back to their normal routines until the next vacation time finds its way onto the calendar.
This weather leaves one looking for options as to what to do with all the snow, and I for one have come up with a new idea—why not dump it all on the North Woodmere Golf Course and make it into toboggan runs that we can all use to round out the winter? Just a thought!
All levity aside, this cold weather has brought with it a host of problems for many a homeowner. This frigid cold has caused many frozen pipes that need to be tended to—some in locations without easy access, requiring difficult and costly repairs.
If you have a kitchen or bathroom—or any plumbing, for that matter—that is installed within an outside wall, there is always the risk in weather this cold of a pipe freezing. As a preventive measure, just leaving the faucets dripping in severe cold weather lowers the chances of a pipe freezing, since with the water constantly moving through the pipe, it keeps the water from standing in one area of the pipe and freezing. Additionally, keeping the faucet partially open allows any ice forming inside the pipes to expand without putting extra pressure on the water between the ice and the faucet, so that the pipes are less likely to crack.
When a frozen pipe is in a spot that you can reach, try turning on the faucet that the pipe feeds into, and then use a hair blower to slowly defrost the frozen area. Start the hair blower on the frozen area closest to the faucet, and as it starts defrosting move slowly down the frozen pipe.
This method is not foolproof but it can work when applied properly. If more than one pipe is frozen or the area of the freeze seems extensive, call a plumber! It is not worth waiting it out and then having to worry about whether your pipes are busted. v
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.