How To Protect Your Home And Plants During a Freeze in Tallahassee, Florida
With mild winters and rare below freezing temperatures, Tallahassee, Florida residents are generally not prepared for hard freezes, especially those that last a few days. Service providers such as plumbers, heating contractors, propane suppliers and utility companies will experience a much higher volume of calls during these periods of cold. From tender plants to exposed pipes and water wells there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your home during a hard freeze.
The first line of defense is to watch the local weather alerts. Be prepared for the cold before it hits. Communicate with out of town neighbors. Contact your condo or townhome maintenance department with concerns. Learn how to shut off the water supply to your home in an emergency – locate the water meter and shut off valve near your home or on your sprinkler system.
Protect Your Plants
If you have potted plants, move them indoors or even into garages. Particularly your tropical plants such as hibiscus, fruit trees or bromeliads and ferns. In the spring when you are planting these delicate plants, consider potted gardens that can actually be moved in doors or under cover during periods of extreme rain and cold.
Use thick layers of mulch or pine straw to provide moisture in the soil and ultimately root system protection. This is great for our native plants such as azaleas, hollies, ligustrum, nandina, wax myrtle and lorepetalum. Some plants such as hydranges and jasmines may loose the exposed portion of the plants, but usually return in the spring.
Cover Your Plants: Use old sheets, blankets, cardboard boxes secured to the ground with sand, stones or bricks or cover small plants with old nursery pots or glass jars. Remember how this created the miniature greenhouses when we were kids?
What Not To Do After A Freeze: Do not remove the frost or ice by hosing them off. It is too drastic of a temperature change and will damage the plants cellular structure and kill them. If freezing rain is going to happen, cover plants with plastic if possible. Only trim plants in the spring, leave the damaged woody stems or branches alone until then.
Protect Pipes and Underside of Your Home: In Tallahassee, FL we have many off-grade homes with exposed pipes that run under homes, between floor joists, etc.Protection for these pipes involves little time and money. Styrofoam covers for spigots, insulated wrapping materials and can be found at the local hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes. Do not forget to wrap your sprinkler system pipes and valves as well. Wrapping tightly with blankets, cloths and string or rope that is tied securely will work well also. Running water is less likely to freeze in our area, so leave an outside faucet dripping if possible ( but don’t forget to turn it off as the temperature rises!
More than likely, by the next day, temperatures will rise above freezing and you will have averted any chance of disaster. If you do have a problem, call one of our Preferred Partners for plumbing, heating and air help. If you have any problem with your gas lines, call the City of Tallahassee immediately or your propane company emergency number:
City of Tallahassee 891.4YOU (4968) or 711 (TDD) – To report power outages / repairs,
downed power lines and faulty water, sewer & gas lines 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
Nice Things To Do During a Freeze:
Remember your neighbors who may be out of town, help protect their home if possible.
Do not forget our homeless. Take extra blankets to the local homeless shelter. Donate to those in need.