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Corpus Christi tradesmen give expert advice to prepare your home ahead of arctic blast

If pipe insulation covers become difficult to find, there are other items residents can consider such as blankets and towels.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With the artic freeze closing in on the Coastal Bend area the preservation of pipes and plants are a topic of concern for many.

The last freeze event in February of 2021 in Texas kept area plumbers busy making costly repairs to broken water pipes -- something area plumber Michael Shover remembers well. 

"I was underneath a lot of homes," he said. 

Shover who has almost two decades of experience with plumbing said that the key to protecting your home's exposed pipes is to layer them up. 

"If you have pipes outside of your home I recommend wrapping, it doesn't matter if it was installed 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago, it will freeze," he said. 

When dealing with freezing temperatures, Shover said insulation is your number one defense against the cold. Pipe covers have been popular items at local hardware stores. 

"You can unhook your water hose and take it inside your garage because it can freeze too," he said. "Here is how you install this, you open it up, wrap it around the pipe, pull these off and squeeze her together," he said. 

If insulation covers become difficult to find, there are other items residents can consider such as blankets and towels.

"If you are in doubt, and don't know it if will work or not, just imagine wrapping yourself in that, if it keeps you warm, it will keep the pipe warm," he said. 

Shover said that when it comes to letting your water run, he recommends a low steady stream versus a drip. 

Wyatt Page with Gill Garden Center said his staff is already preparing for the frigid forecast. 

"You want to cover your tropicals and any tender new plants," he said. 

Page adds that if residents can't bring their plants inside, then the next best thing is to make sure the ground around them has plenty of water. 

"When you water the ground it pushes out all those air pockets and will help keep the ground warmth in and protect that root system," he said. 

Another tip that Page wants residents to take away is to stay away from plastic when covering their plants. 

"It can be damaging to the plant if it gets warm real quick or the plastic stays on too long, so using a breathable material if you don't go out and buy a frost blanket, even using a bed sheet at home is something people do that works really well," he said. 

Page said to make sure that cover goes all the way to the ground like a tent to trap in the warmth.

Once the temperatures begin to warm up, take those blankets off.

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