If you live in Texas, you know the climate can turn on a dime. From record-setting heat to record-breaking cold and everything in between, in the unlikely event that you get bored in Texas, look to the weather and you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained (and busy).
For many Texans, the appeal is in the weather. For many more, the ever-changing forecast can create a headache when it comes to protecting their property. When dealing with climate-related challenges, South Texas property owners are experienced enough to weather any storm.
Trees and Plants: Keeping Them Safe From the Cold
While there are plenty of jokes about Texas and its weather, when it comes to recent, unprecedented weather events, it’s no laughing matter. From ice to snow to bone-chilling wind, these conditions make it easy to feel out of our element.
When cold weather approaches, property owners begin asking about the best ways to protect their property’s greenery. Whether you’re a rancher or take extreme pride in your landscape, knowing what temperatures are in store can mean the difference between saving your plants and trees or costly and devastating loss.
Garden experts advise that most plants can survive when temperatures drop for a single day or night. With longer cold snaps and freezes, property owners in regions such as the Rio Grande Valley will do well to find ways to protect their delicate foliage.
Covering tropical and subtropical plants and newly planted trees on property are likely to survive when covered. Visit any garden center and you’ll find the right tools to get the job done, including frost cloth; however, old blankets and sheets may work well, too.
Avoid using plastic or paper coverings when it’s cold outside. Plastic conducts cold easily and can increase the chance leaves and/or branches will be damaged.
Planning ahead is key. Garden experts suggest watering the roots of plants before a freeze. Watered soil ensures property owners are watering their plants’ root system. If property owners water their plants, and the weather drops, then the plant will likely freeze.
When possible, bring plants inside from the cold, using your home or garage to shield them. Think of the three C’s when it comes to plants: cluster your container gardens and cover them.
Frozen Pipes can Lead to Expensive Repairs
In addition to your property’s plants and trees, freezing weather can also spell disastrous results for your home’s pipes. Temperature drops below 32 degrees, over an extended period of time, can wreak havoc on your unprotected pipes when water turns to ice.
Ice can force extreme pressure on your home’s pipes, and many property owners won’t realize the damage until the ice thaws and cracks are discovered. Insulating pipes, including those exposed to the elements, have better chances of bypassing damage resulting from cold and ice.
The task of insulating pipes is simple, and most homeowners take a do-it-yourself approach. Wrapping pipes in newspaper, foam, rags, or other cloth and securing with rope or tape is an effective strategy for protecting your home’s pipes.
If you plan on leaving your home or property unattended, it may be wise to consider cutting off water and draining pipes. Replacing or repairing broken pipes is expensive, and in cases of extreme temperatures, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t Forget About Your Friends and Neighbors
When it comes to winter’s chill, people and pets should always be safe. When the weather turns cold, check in with friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they’re keeping warm and out of harm’s way. South Texas has wide open spaces, and you never know whether an elderly neighbor could be in need of help for keeping their own home protected.
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