This past week brought a cancellation for Witt students and was met with enjoyment from all. However, the reasoning for the cancellation— the brutal cold—is not something to be taken lightly. Obviously being outside in the cold from this past weekend could have caused frostbite, but many stayed in their dormitories or apartments to stay warm. While many students do not need to worry about their housing due to living in dorms, many students who live in the Witten’ Burbs had to pay close attention. This is not to say that Physical Plant would not have taken care of the issue, but many times, students do not want the hassle of dealing with any problems while waiting for Physical Plant.
The following are a few tips for taking care of your home in winter conditions of deep snow and extreme cold:
Buy a Shovel
While Wittenberg usually does take care of the sidewalks, many times residents of apartments have to take care of the paths to their houses or porches. While it may not seem very important to shovel the snow away from your area, your porch can become extremely slippery if you do not. Ice quickly forms underneath snow and can cause students to begin gingerly walking out of their home. If you buy a shovel—there were cheap shovels for less than $8 at Walmart— you are able to remove the snow and make your residency a little safer on the outside. Use Salt If you didn’t get to the snow outside of your house, it is extremely important to sprinkle salt on to the buildups. This will cause the snow to melt before the temperatures rise and the grains of salt allow for shoes to better grip the surface. Recently, the Student Rentals Coordinator, Angie Kettler sent students an email about the availability of free salt in the Student Development office.
Allow your Taps to Drip
When it gets extremely cold it is important to take precautions to make sure your pipes do not burst. If not paid attention to, pipes can expand to the point that they fracture and this obviously would allow water to flow from the pipes. An easy way to avoid this is allowing any faucets on the outside walls of the house to drip throughout the night. If you have a sink or shower that is against the outside wall, the waterlines are less insulated as only the wall separates them from the cold. By allowing the tap to drip it keeps water constantly moving through the pipes and makes it less likely it will freeze. If you are ecologically friendly, you can stick a bucket under the tap and catch the excess water and use it later in your house.
Keep Cabinets under Sinks Open
If you were to open the cabinets that are under your sink, it would allow heat from your apartment to filter in and heat the pipes under the sinks. This will keep pipes from freezing and is an easy way to protect your house.
Take Care of Outside Faucets
Another way to protect your apartment from the cold is, if you have any outside faucets, covering those faucets up. By doing this you again save the pipes from flooding your living areas, but you also add another level of insulation for the faucet from the bitter cold and the wind.