• Before freezing weather, allow a slow trickle of water to flow from both hot and cold faucets on exterior walls.
• Insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home with a cloth or similar material to help prevent freezing. All piping in attics, including those to water heaters, should be protected as well.
• If a water pipe freezes, never try to thaw it with an open flame or torch.
To protect your landscaping and garden before a hard freeze:
• Water your plants the morning before the predicted freeze. Moist soil retains heat better than dry soil.
• Put frost protection blankets on in the afternoon. Use a two-layer blanket system. First use an insulating layer against the plant. This can be a frost-cloth, a sheet, blanket or even an old tarp. On top of that put a layer of plastic.
• Do not use plastic alone to cover plants as the plastic may freeze to the plants. A light bulb may also be placed under the sheets to give additional heat. Make sure to remove the plastic and the light bulb the next morning.
• Be sure to uncover the plants the next morning before they overheat. If the freeze lasts for more than a day, just crack open the covers to let them breath during the warm part of the day.
Additional tips for a hard freeze – about 26 degrees (F) or below for more than two hours:
• Bring pets indoors, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.
• Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters and never leave them unattended.
• Install smoke detectors and remember to replace batteries every six months.
• Avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fire unattended.
For more information, please contact Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .