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How to Prepare for a Freeze
Make sure you know where your home’s shut-off valve is and how to turn it on and off. If you leave town or will be gone during a freeze, consider turning your water off at the shut-off valve and draining your pipes. If you’re unsure how to drain your pipes, call a plumber. Call your electric or gas utility company to ask how to protect your water heater.
Inside Your House
- Open the cabinets under the sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow heated air to circulate around the water pipes.
- Maintain the heat in the building, especially when you’re gone for the day or away for a long time.
- Let indoor faucets drip, but don’t run a heavy stream of water.
Outside Your House
- Protect faucets, outdoor pipes, and pipes in unheated areas by wrapping them with rags, newspapers, trash bags, plastic foam, or covers designed to protect outdoor faucets from freezing.
- Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure the lid is on tight.
- Cover any vents around your home’s foundation.
- Drain water sprinkler supply lines.
- Drain swimming pool circulation systems.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze
If a frozen pipe bursts and floods your home, turn the water off at the shut-off valve. Call a plumber for help if you can’t reach the shut-off valve or stop the leak. Don’t turn the water back on until the pipe has been repaired.
If you have damages, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. Take pictures of any damages, and if necessary arrange for temporary repairs. Keep all receipts and document all work done, such as by taking photo’s or video of area before repairs are made.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK WHEN HIRING DISASTER REPAIR SERVICES
The Better Business Bureau reminds those who experience storm damage to take certain precautions when cleaning up and making repair decisions.
August 8, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COUNTY EXECUTIVE ALERTS HOME OWNERS TO FRAUD POTENTIAL
Nelson cautions against scam contractors
APPLETON, WI – In the wake of Wednesday’s severe weather, Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson wants area residents to be cautious of scammers looking to cash in on storm damage. Confidence artists, he points out, take advantage of vulnerable home owners in times of emergency. Nelson urged wariness against bogus contractors.
“There are always going to be unscrupulous opportunists willing to prey on disaster victims just to earn a quick buck,” he said. “We want to prevent our citizens from being be victimized twice.”
Nelson offered the following precautions when hiring contractors:
• Research contractors through the Valley Home Builders Association or the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. Be suspicious of anyone who offers to increase the amount of your disaster damage assessment.
• Ask for proof of insurance. You may end up liable for accidents on the property. Make sure the contractor has disability and workers' compensation insurance.
• Get multiple estimates, on exactly the same work. Avoid telephone estimates and be skeptical of unusually low estimates.
• Verify that estimates include all the work, as well as taxes and other fees. Once you selected a contractor, ask for a written contract including all tasks to be performed as well as associated costs, a timeline and payment schedule and who is responsible for applying for necessary permits and licenses. Never sign a blank contract.
• Do not make advance payment in cash. Pay by check in order to keep a record and avoid double charges.
“Welcome Brian Boeckman to our Greenville location. Brian brings many years of experience in personal and commercial insurance. Brian replaces Lance Schmidt who has left the agency for a great opportunity in the banking industry. We thank Lance for his years of service and wish him well at Wolf River Community Bank!”