Protecting Your Home in the Cold
Residents still have time to prepare for the deep freeze. We spoke with professionals around town who showed us some of the best ways to protect your home during this arctic blast. Three things you should definitely protect are your pipes, plants, and pets.
Judy Brown, a manager at Garden Gate Retail Nursery said, "very extreme cold coming our and its very hard to believe." She says she's seen cold weather like this in the past, but tonights weather can do serious harm to your plants. "The most important thing is to realize that a lot of things this year have not received much cold yet so their going to be even more tender than usual so you definitely want to bring in all your cold sensitive house plants."
Besides protecting your plants, brown says there are a couple of things people often forget about...like fountains. You should drain your fountains-- and other standing water-- to prevent them from freezing. Brown said, "I have horses and here's something to think about is you want their troughs filled as much as possible in the morning and then in the morning go out there as soon as you can and break the ice that will be there so they can have water."
Pipes, for both irrigation and sprinkler systems are also very susceptible to cold weather. Plumbers say it's an easy fix, just buy some insulation tubes and put them on your exposed pipes. Even better, you can leave the insulation on for the rest of the winter.
Plumber John Boswell said, "it only takes a matter of 3 or 4 hours for your pipes to freeze. The best thing to do is to find the faucet furthest away from the water source in your house, turn on the hot and cold just enough to let it run a little bit, that'll keep the water moving in your home and the pipes from freezing."
How do you know if your pipes have given way to the cold? Boswell said, "you're going to hear water running if your pipe burst and you're going to hear it its going to be really loud. Or you're not going to have any water at all if your pipe is frozen."
More than your pipes and your plants, you should also pay close attention to space heaters and fireplaces. Brown chooses to look at the bright side of this deep freeze, she said, "just enough to cause a lot of work for some people and then we'll have to undo it all but that's kind of nice you get to clean real good while everything's up."
Most people just throw a sheet over the plant and think that's enough. But Brown says doing that is not protecting the most important part of the plant. You should make sure to wrap a sheet or blanket around the base of the plant because this is the part that cannot be saved if it freezes.
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