Is Your Home Ready for The FREEZE?

Dear South Texas Friends,

With a harsh cold front moving across Texas, we want to share some helpful tips and resources that you and your friends can use to help protect your home from any impending freeze.  Check out this Q&A section, along with the links below, to discover more about preventing frozen pipes and preparing your home for winter storms.

Q: Should we just drip the cold water… Is it important to drip the hot, too?

A: Yes, run both.  Most plumbers who repair pipes following a freeze say 70% of the pipes they repair are the hot water pipes.   If the pipe is surrounded by cold air, especially cold wind, it will start ice growth.  The ice grows from the wall of the pipe inward until it creates a blockage, then ice grows along the length of the pipe. That growth along the length of the pipe acts like a piston that elevates the water pressure in the pipe. It’s the pressure that causes the rupture.

Q: So why does that mean hot water pipes are more likely to burst?

A: It’s the toilet.  Often you have one line that feeds a bathroom: the tub, toilet, lavatory all coming off the same line.  If you imagine pressure building up in the waterline, all it has to do is force the ball float to go down a little (in the toilet tank), allowing water to dribble into the tank, relieving the pressure on the cold water pipe (The hot water pipe doesn’t have that relief).

Q: Do you need to keep the water running in a pencil-thin stream? Or will just a drip work?

A: It doesn’t matter how fast the drip is. The slower the drip, the less water wasted.  The rupture is due to pressure.  If you have some kind of pressure relief (by leaving the faucet open), the (ice) piston can keep on pushing, but nothing will rupture.

Q: Should you still run the water if you’ve insulated your pipes?

A: An incomplete insulation job is probably worse than no insulation. If you’re using the foam tubes, you have to look very closely at what’s happening at the plumbing fittings, the elbow, or tee. Lots of times, people will put the tube on the straight section and leave the fittings exposed. You really want to protect the whole pipe and fittings.

Q: Our weather reports always talk about hard freezes and light freezes. When should you worry about your pipes?

A: It’s not just cold temperatures, but cold temperatures blowing on the pipe. The wind is the real kicker. Protecting against drafts is really the key.  And we know how hard the breezy it is in South Texas.

We hope you find these tips helpful and that will take action to prevent your home from water damage after the freeze.  Our office is here to help you and now is a good time to allow us to review your protection!  Call us today at (361) 991-1493 for a free, no obligation insurance protection review!

Because We Care

Ed

Ed Cantu Insurance Agency

What Corpus Christi Area Residents Need to Know!

The 2020 Hurricane Season has been the most active one decades and it’s not over yet!

Tropical Depression 22 could turn into this year’s next Tropical Storm or Hurricane. According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricanes may pose the greatest threat to life and property but tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents. Regardless the storm size, now is the time to prepare!

Things to do and have now:

*Create an emergency communication plan with your family before a hurricane.

*Be aware of emergency alerts and warnings and how to share them with your loved ones.

*Know your evacuation route and where temporary shelters may be set up to serve your area.

*Create a plan to let friends and family outside of the area know you’re safe or that you need help.

*Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.

*Below is a basic kit; you should also think about your pets and any medication you may need.

*Water- one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.

*Food- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

*Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.

*Have Flashlight, extra batteries, First Aid kit, Whistle to signal for help.

*Have dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

*Have wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, manual can opener for food, local paper maps (Cell phone service could be down)

*Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery.

It’s too late to add or make changes to your insurance policies now so have your valuable insurance papers and other important paperwork with you and call Ed Cantu Insurance Agency at (361) 991-1493 after this storm clears to prepare for the next one.

Stay tuned to the weather channel and go to https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane for additional Hurricane Safety Tips.

Because We Care

Ed Cantu

Ed Cantu Insurance Agency

www.SmartWindstormInsurance.com

Top 7 Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips to remember while you search for that perfect gift!

Here are key Holiday Season Shopping Safety Tips to better protect you and your loved ones:

1. Wear appropriate clothing Wear lighter color or reflective clothing and shoes with good traction that are comfortable.

2. Shop with a friend or family member- If you plan on shopping all day, consider taking somebody with you.  It’s more fun and:

  • Carrying many bags or packages can make you an easy target.
  • Consider leaving small children at home with someone, or taking someone with you to shop so they can help small children navigate safely through the parking lot.  (Pushing a stroller, carrying packages, watching your kids, and looking for car keys can be difficult and dangerous).

3. Shop during non peak timesWhen you can, shop on week days during the day when there are fewer shoppers and fewer cars.

4. Park further away from the store Parking Lots are congested .

Advantages:

  • Easier to back out of your parking space since there will be less car and pedestrian traffic.
  • You may be able to avoid unwanted door dings.
  • There’s more space for you and your family to exit and enter the vehicle.
  • You can burn off a few extra calories which isn’t a bad thing this time of year.

5. Pay attention to your surroundingsScan the area before leaving your car or the store.

  • Be on the lookout for anything that looks strange.  Keep an eye on the pavement to avoid potholes and falling.
  • Watch for elevation changes that could cause you to slip and fall.
  • If something doesn’t feel right, consider asking store staff or security for assistance.
  • Lastly, take out your earbuds and avoid texting or trying to make a phone call until you’re safely in the store or in your car.  Distracted shoppers are easy targets.

6. After Shopping, Inspect your car Before getting in your car, take a peak in the back seat to make sure a stranger isn’t waiting for you.

7. Hide your packagesIf you continue shopping, before you go to the next location, make sure the gifts you just purchased are out of plain sight from possible thieves.

Be sure and watch Roland Rodriguez as he interviews me about additional  parking lot safety while you shop this Holiday season.  Check out KRIS 6 TV at kristv.com/traffic-and-parking-lot-accidents-spike-on-black-friday?fbclid=IwAR3qvWv84_zYN_WnKcoj_pCFFPhPbQYOiyhjBCSkR6RD170yqnUP4g_63kw

Ed Cantu Insurance Agency wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe, memorable Holiday Season!

Because we care,

Ed Cantu