Hard overnight freeze means end of growing season & beginning of winter preps


POSTED Tuesday, October 22, 2013-- 5:40 p.m.

Nancy Dow picked the last of the seasons fruits and vegetables from her garden in Oregon yesterday.

"This is all the tomatoes that were beautiful yesterday, and they're all dead leaves today," said Dow.

For many, the first below freezing temperatures of the season came overnight, marking the end of the growing season and the beginning of winter preparations around the house.

"Today we had about 6, 7, 8 calls to winterize those faucets," said H.J. Pertzborn Plumbing's service manager, Ellie Norland.

Norland said the time to winterize is now, starting with hoses and faucets

"Some of the most common mistakes we see is they go down to the basement and shut it off, but they don't go outside and open the valve and let the water drain out," said Norland. "The water in that pipe is expanding and contracting because it's frozen and that's where the burst pipe happens."

Local landscapers say to also to rake your yard to keep leaves from choking the grass; clean out your gutters to keep water from freezing inside them; cut down perennials; and either cover or put away your pots and planters to keep them from breaking.

When you step inside to warm up, before you start lighting a fire, clean out your chimney.

"The biggest risk is having a chimney fire," said United Brick and Fireplace's Dustin Ballweg.

Check your gaskets, and make sure the brick panels are in good condition.

"You surely want to do it today or at least before Friday hits because it's only going to get worse," said Norland.

You can hire a local plumber or landscaper to winterize your home for you. Norland said that's around $100, but repairing burst pipes can cost up to $600.


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