Aluminum air pipes

What you need to know about protecting plants and pipes in cold weather

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia are expecting another winter blast this weekend as temperatures drop below freezing for most of our region.

Before cold weather arrives, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your homes and plants. A simple step you can take is to leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom, sinks open to allow some of the heat inside the house to reach those pipes.

Consider leaving a drip from the faucet so that water continuously circulates through these pipes to prevent them from freezing. Insulating the pipes in and around your home can prevent them from freezing, especially those from a water heater or faucet.

Use towels, blankets, or specialty blankets sold at hardware stores to keep them warm.

“They’re sheltered from the elements, so they take the brunt of cold and humidity,” said Tim Wood, vice president of Snyder Heating, Air, Electric and Plumbing. “When that moisture gets in there, it freezes the water in the pipe and that could be very problematic.”

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Disconnecting the hose from an outside faucet is a good idea, as well as knowing where the main shutoff valve for your water line is and how to close it.

“They can freeze, grow and burst,” Wood said. “Once the water thaws, you still have water pressure and you can flood your whole house, causing thousands of dollars in damage.”

“A little water, even from a small burst, will make the house fill up quickly,” said Carlos Rubina, a plumbing technician. “There’s a lot of water coming out and a lot of pressure.”

If you plan to be out of town this weekend, consider keeping your thermostat set at least around 68 degrees.

There are ways to protect your pipes and plants in certain places, especially outdoors.

Plants should also be protected from harsh elements.

Joel Philips is owner of Philips’ Garden Store and recommends making sure your plants are well watered.

“The frost sucks all the moisture out of their root zone and upper limbs as well,” he said.

Philips said it’s good to bring tropical plants indoors, if possible. If that can’t happen, try to find shelter for them and other winter plants, either by placing them on a porch, under an awning, or using a frosted cloth to cover them.

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“If it’s possible to offer warmth, either through a bulb or a drooping light, to plants that you know are sensitive and can’t move, you can still provide cover” , Philips said. “You can put a product on it and then add a bit of light just from a bulb. It will keep it above freezing in most situations.

These are simple ways to protect plants and pipes that can make a difference.

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