Yes, cold weather in San Antonio occasionally visits our doorsteps, and we at San Antonio Water System have helpful tips for when cold fronts do visit the Alamo City. Freezes do happen here, but you can be ready to protect your pipes, plants, and pets with these preparations.
Better to have your bubble burst than your pipes.
Hate to burst your bubble that it never freezes in SA, because actually sometimes it does. Ice formed during a freeze can cause blockage and excessive water pressure on your pipes, causing them to burst. Here’s how to be ready:
- Cold winds can speed up the freezing process. Seal up openings where cold air can reach unprotected water pipes, like faucets.
- Foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves go a long way in keeping exposed pipes safe.
- Leave cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer room air to circulate over the pipes.
- Letting faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes is not ideal, but it can help water escape even if some ice still manages to form.
Your choice of covering is key to your plants’ survival.
If your inclination is to cover your plants, then you’re halfway there. The next step is very important:
- While using commercial coverings like plastic is an option to keep plants warm, it is not recommended. Plastic doesn’t breathe and traps moisture that may add to the freezing process.
- The other problem with plastic coverings is making sure it doesn’t come into contact with the plant because it will freeze in colder temperatures.
- Fabric coverings, like bed sheets, blankets, and burlap, allow moisture to escape and keeps cold air from coming in direct contact with your plants. Bed sheets come in handy to protect large plants and shrubs.
- Soft woody plants, active bloomers, and potted plants are more susceptible to freezes. Use newspapers and even mulch for low-to-the-ground, smaller plants to prevent freezing.
Don’t forget your furbabies.
Since frigid temperatures here are not everyday occurrences, it’s easy to forget how even the mildest temperature drops can affect our pets.
- Even animals blessed with thick fur can suffer from frostbite on ears, feet, or tails. Don’t keep your pets outside too long, even if you have a cute cozy coat for the short-haired animals.
- Just like humans, our furry counterparts are attracted to warmer spots to snuggle. Make sure to pet-protect any space heaters or fireplaces so that they don’t accidentally get too close.
- Cold season is also when antifreeze starts making its appearance on driveways and garages. Antifreeze can taste sweet to pets but is extremely toxic and even fatal. Be aware of where it can drip on the driveway and refrain from keeping pets in the garage during cold weather.
- For older pets, cold air can wreak havoc on arthritic joints. Do your best to keep up walks and exercise, but be mindful of slippery slopes.
Finally, let’s not forget about each other during the cold holiday season. With programs like Project Agua, people can donate to an emergency payment assistance fund designed to assist their fellow residential customers who might need a little financial help with their water bill. Donating to Project Agua is a simple process, and every tax-deductible contribution makes a difference — no matter the size.