PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The storms blew in with snow globe-like fury, taking away the confidence of dry pavement.

But before all is said and done, it is the temperatures that will prompt emergency calls to plumbers.

“Anything below 10 degrees and any type of wind … you will have great heat loss in any given home that creates the freeze and the breaks,” Terry Mertz with Terry’s Plumbing said.

Mertz says the most vulnerable spot and the most overlooked is the outside spigot, which when left unchecked will freeze, pop off and cause a basement flood.

“Step one is to shut the valve off inside,” Mertz said.

Then run outside, make sure the hose is removed and open the hose valve all the way.

“Open the bleeder valve out to release any type of water that’s trapped in-between the two valves,” Mertz said.

A little water will trickle out and outside spigots can also be covered.

Next give some attentions to exposed pipes in any unheated area by wrapping them in insulating tube, which are pretty cheap at the hardware store and leave open a door to allow heat from adjacent areas to flow in to unheated areas.

Also, don’t forget the kitchen, where water pipes are most likely on an outside wall.

“Open up the cabinet to let some warm in there,” Mertz said.

And from every faucet, leave the water slightly running or dripping. Running water will not freeze.

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