'Do it yourself' tips to prevent cold weather home damage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Frozen pipes and boiler issues are common repair calls in the frigid temperatures currently battering much of Alaska. Channel Two spoke with Anchorage property managers for "do it yourself" tips to prevent the cold from damaging your home.


“We’ve seen a lot of stress, and a lot of strain, on heating systems,” property manager Patrick Dailey with Real Property Management Last Frontier said. “And we’re seeing a lot of problems related to the cold, unfortunately.”

Dailey says in the last ten days their company has received 50 more cold-related service orders than they do on average. He says the number one tip every home or property owner should know is the importance of frequently servicing their heating system.

"It's a cost-benefit analysis,” Dailey said. “And the biggest tip that I can give to anybody out there who has an interest in protecting their home from this sort of problem is to inspect it regularly."

Victor Powell, owner of Twins Home Improvement, is a licensed and bonded property maintenance contractor who frequently takes service calls from RPM properties. He says boiler inspections can cost anywhere from $60 - $120, depending on the contractor and the time of year. He recommends at least one inspection per year, and if you missed your window in 2019, Powell says it would be a good idea to get an inspection as soon as a slot opens up -- contractors are very busy right now.

Because if you don’t, and your boiler blows, he’s responded to a similar scenario which ended up costing the family over $3,000 in repairs.

Powell’s tips to heat your home and avoid being one of those service calls are as follows:

- Perch all doors open to keep air circulating through your home, and make certain all windows are fully sealed off; If air is leaking in, your boiler is working double time to heat up your home.

- Don't put curtains or furniture in front of baseboard heaters, as this hinders air flow, and in some cases can push cold air back down through the heater and cause damage to the boiler line.

- Keep baseboard heaters free of dust and pet hair, letting that heat flow freely.

- If you have an older home and a room with poor heating, running warm water can keep pipes from freezing.

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