Pro Tips: Outsmart the Cold from Freezing your Outside Faucet; Keep Shower Doors Clear for Six Month

Local North Bend (now retired) handyman, Mike Williams, shared some great (and timely) advice this week. Snoqualmie is notorious for water that often leaves a white crust on counters if allowed to dry on surfaces.  So Mike has pro advice for keeping those popular glass shower doors clear – for possibly six months!

And learn from my own mistake…. UNHOOK your garden hose from the outside faucet.  The outdoor faucet itself may be freeze-proof – but ONLY if you remove the hose and allow the pipe/faucet to completely drain. Not doing this cost me a $400 repair bill a few, freezing winters ago.

Turn off outdoor faucets and be sure to disconnect hoses from them

faucetMany of us have a faucet near the entrance to the garage. If the supply pipe is in the unheated garage wall, there will likely be a valve upstream and on a wall that has a heated room on the other side of it. Open the outside faucet and turn off this warm-wall, upstream valve and let the water drain out of the supply pipe.

Important: Disconnect any hoses or controls connected to other outside faucets to assure that freeze-proof faucets will drain.

Note: The insulated outdoor faucet covers are a waste of money if there are any air gaps. Many times this air gap is between the cover and the ridges of the lap siding. Another vulnerable area – crawl spaces If you have a crawl space, install your vent covers.  This will help protect pipes under your home from freezing and likely keep your floors warmer.

Are your shower doors turning grey like the weather?

Keeping shower doors clean and streak free is a challenge—unless you know the pros’ secrets. Start by cleaning any mold, mildew or streaks off the glass with a showerdoorglass cleaner. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($1) to get into the cracks in textured glass. Scrape off tough buildup with a razor blade. Dry the doors with a cloth.

Treat the doors with a product like Aquapel ($ or Rain-X ($5 at auto parts stores and home centers). These glass treatments form an invisible film on the glass to increase water repellency, causing water and soap to bead up and run off the glass.

Spray or wipe on the glass treatment, then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Overspray won’t harm surrounding surfaces. The products repel water for six months.  Don’t forget: Squeegee off the water after bathing to keep soap scum from building up again.

Once the doors are clean and treated you can look forward to a brighter outlook on life.

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