Cold weather could mean problems for you and your home

CREATED Jan. 18, 2013

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GLENDALE - It looks like we'll have a frigid wake-up call on Monday morning, and that could mean problems for you and your home.

We've all been here before, but there's nothing quite like that first big shock to the system when the temperature drops. And your home and car need to get used to it again, too. Because frigid air can turn frustrating before you know it.

You could call this "the calm before the cold."

"This is our spring break, it may be the only one we have for a while," said Margie Groh of Glendale.

After a mild start to the season, Groh isn't messing around with sub zero temps on the way. Neither is Lo Masters.

"My driveway is a sheet of ice,” said Masters. “You can take one step off the top and slide all the way to the road."

Groh and Masters both picked up bags of ice melt at the Ace Hardware store in Glendale, where they tell us they've been slammed with people prepping for the first big tumble in temperature.

"It's really been crazy with the salt and ice scrapers have been a big thing too,” said Ralph Ignatowski with Ace Hardware.

He said that while there's nothing you can do about the cold outside, you can keep it from coming inside.

"[The] biggest threat to the home, if you have any outside wall pipes, those you have to make sure you keep warm or you know open some cabinets and make sure some heat is getting into the cabinets so the pipes stay warm," said Ignatowski.

You can also run the water from time to time...running water won't freeze.

If you want to keep your car running, make sure you have fresh fluids and a battery that's up to snuff. Because whatever Mother Nature brings, one thing is for sure. “It's winter in Wisconsin, you deal with ups and downs in temperature, you never know what you're going to get next," said Groh.

If your pipes freeze, it's not hopeless. There are things you can do to warm them up, like use a hair dryer. If it's really bad, your best bet is to call a licensed plumber.