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Fight the Freeze: How to keep your outdoor plants, pipes warm

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:57:27 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 12 2013 05:45:23 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

With a hard freeze in the forecast, residents are being urged to bring their pets and sensitive plants inside tonight.

But what about the parts of your home that will be exposed?

Let's start with your pipes.

Jeremy Hickman with Lowe's tell us that there are two ways to protect them.

"Pipe insulation to go around any exposed pipes and faucet covers to go on your faucets outside" says Hickman.

If you can't make it to the store, try covering your faucets with a damp towel or a bucket, anything to reduce exposure to the freezing air.

In reality, it will take several days of sub-freezing temperatures to freeze your pipes, instead of several hours.

During the stronger cold spells of the months to come, the best thing you can do to avoid a frozen or busted pipe is to leave your house’s heat running if you’ll be gone for an extended period.

And leaving your plants outside doesn't have to be a death sentence.

Try to cover them with something breathable like a freezer bag or blanket that can be purchased at the store. In a pinch, a sheet will do the trick too.

Avoid using plastic sheets that don't allow air to circulate. These can actually burn the plants and do more harm than good.

Another plant-saving trick might surprise you.

"It has to be watered, a lot of people think it's getting ready to freeze so let's keep those plants dry, in actuality that's the worst thing to do. You need to water them a lot" says Pete Berreta, a Lowe's Associate.