Winter weather and freezing temperatures are expected this week across Texas. The National Weather Service is forecasting widespread freezing temperatures on Friday and Saturday mornings. Residents should closely monitor media and the National Weather Service for updates to the forecast. We wanted to assure you that the teams at Inframark are monitoring and working diligently in preparation for a freezing weather event to safeguard your facilities. It is also important that you take action as well in protecting the “Four P’s”: People, pets, pipes and plants.
Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.
Bring pets inside, and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.
Keep adequate food and water available.
Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain and store in protected area.
Wrap exposed faucets and pipes – including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas.
Bring potted plants inside or store in garage near interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.
For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.
Additionally, if you have an irrigation system, turn off the water to the system at your backflow preventer and then drain the system so your irrigation pipes and sprinkler heads are not damaged.
The following sites can also be used as a source of information and to keep you updated:
Community Meeting on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Join us for a meeting at Timbers Elementary to discuss community security and water district improvements. This is an opportunity to learn about things happening within our district and to meet with your MUD board of directors.
Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1.
Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing how to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. impacts from wind and water can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur regardless of the storm’s strength. Know if you live in an area prone to flooding and if you’re safe to remain in your home.
Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. You may also need to leave if you live in a flood prone area or in a mobile home outside a hurricane evacuation zone. Now is the time to begin planning where you would go and how you would get there.
You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Your destination could be a friend or relative who lives in a well built home outside flood prone areas. Remember, your safest place may be to remain home. Be sure to account for your pets in your plan.
As hurricane season approaches, listen to local officials on questions related to how you may need to adjust any evacuation plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
Whether you’re evacuating or sheltering-in-place, you’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of 3 days (store a longer than 3-day supply of water, if possible). Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones.
If you need to go to a public shelter, follow health guidelines from your local officials and the CDC.
Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough insurance to repair or even replace your home and/or belongings. Remember, home and renters insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so you’ll need a separate policy for it.
Flood insurance is available through your company, agent, or the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov. Act now, as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Whether you’re evacuating, or planning to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications to withstand wind impacts. Many retrofits are not as costly or time consuming as you may think.
Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.
If you’re a renter, work with your landlord now to prepare your home for a storm.
Many people rely on their neighbors before and after a disaster, and there are many ways you can help them. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes.
Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies but remember you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions.
Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know who issues evacuation orders for your area, determine locations on where you will ride out the storm, and start to get your supplies now. Being prepared before a hurricane threatens makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between being a hurricane victim or a hurricane survivor.
Guess what! National Fix A Leak Week is March 14-20th and we want to be sure you have the best resources to keep you informed of the little problems caused by water leaks. Awareness of what to look for and knowledge of how to fix any leak issues can go a long way in prevention and saving money. Leaks can run, but they can’t hide!
Did you know that simple faucet leaks amount to approximately 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year? That’s huge! And so easily preventable! Not to mention, leaks are costly. Taking time each year to perform a preventative check, can help keep your check book in order.
When you are on the hunt for possible leaks, it is important to start with the data… Begin with your water bill, check your meter, and test your toilets. These will give you some clue as to the prevalence of a water leak in your home.
The EPA recommends the following checklist for tracking down a leak! Here are some of the best-known hiding places to start. Keep your ears open!
Under the sink
Don’t forget the tub!
Check all of your hook-ups!
Look for pooling in the washer itself (it could indicate a source leak)
Check all appliances, such as the dishwasher and fridge. Many times, there are leaks behind them.
Basement and Garage
Irrigation controls and sprinkler heads
Well, that all depends on your plumbing skills. Whether you choose to call in a professional or venture down the DIY path, below are a few steps everyone should take… just in case.
Turn off the water line to the leaking location.
Identify the primary source of the leak.
Document any and all damage (date, time, photos, description, etc.).
If necessary, call your insurance company.
Call in the professionals or DIY to fix any damage caused by the leak.
Look for any secondary impacts caused by the leak, such as mold or mildew.
It’s important that everyone learn the ins and outs of their plumbing system to avoid costly repairs or surprise damages. Not only does it help protect your home and family, but you also help reduce any wasteful impacts to our water sources.
Enjoy Fix a Leak Week! Best of luck to all you DIY’ers!
When approaching winter in Texas, it can be uneventful as our winters tend to be somewhat mild in our area. Nevertheless, we do still have the chance of a detrimental cold front and we must be prepared. When talking about winter with Inframark, we take the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW approach on our facilities. So, what are freezing temperatures?
Technically freezing temperatures are when the air reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is typically uncommon to see damage to pipes or facilities if the temperature
drops down to 32 degrees and doesn’t stay there for a long period of time. When the temperature reaches 30 degrees or below and stays for just a few hours, it can cause the
pipes to freeze, damage irrigation equipment and cause control failures at many different levels. Additionally, there can be latent damage which doesn’t show immediately. An
example of this would be galvanized pipes. While the pipe may not burst, expansion can occur separating the galvanizing from the pipe creating an area for corrosion to start and
ultimately cause leaks.
WHEN DO YOU PREPARE FOR A FREEZE?
That question is probably the hardest to answer in our area. At Inframark, we do an annual freeze protection audit starting in the Fall. We also do periodic checks as winter continues, since it may actually be months before the cold weather makes its way to our area. It is always the best practice to make sure the preventive measures taken are in good condition throughout the winter. With preparations in place and a cold front approaching, the weather should be monitored regularly to determine arrival time, anticipated temperatures and duration of temperatures below freezing.
WHERE SHOULD WE HAVE FREEZE PROTECTION?
This is the easiest question, everywhere! We don’t believe you can prepare enough for a winter freeze. The potential loss and damage due to a freeze can be extremely costly. Your outside spigots should be covered and insulated along with any other pipes directly exposed to freezing temperatures. This also includes pipes in the attic, garden hoses, irrigation lines and irrigation system backflow preventers. The lines outside exposed to the air are the most common areas to see damage. It is not uncommon for our Inframark team to turn the water off to hundreds of broken backflow preventers in the residential communities after a big freeze. Typically, pipes in the home are fairly safe with heaters running.
HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR THE FREEZE?
There are many different methods and materials which can be utilized to make sure you are safe from freeze damage. Some of these are: foam and fiberglass insulation sized for specific pipes and secured with vinyl and plastic tape, prefabricated spigot covers, spray foam insulation, heat tape, heat lamps and portable heaters. Almost all building supply stores have these items, but do not wait until the night before because they are known to sell out. Should supplies be unavailable, one can improvise, such as utilizing towels and duct tape to insulate vulnerable areas. Turning off the water and draining the lines is the most reliable way to prevent freeze damage. This should always be done for backflow preventers and irrigation systems; however, most everyone needs to have potable water inside the house while it is occupied, so turning off the water and draining the lines is not an option. It is also best practice to periodically flush the lines through all fixtures inside the house during a freeze to bring fresh water into all the lines. This will prevent the water from expanding and breaking the pipes during the freeze. Space heaters, heat lamps and heat tape can be used for small areas directly exposed to freezing temperatures, but care should be taken with any device using extension cords.