Remember to protect the 5 Ps during cold weather

The Weather Authority warns of 5 Ps: People, plants, pets, pools, pipes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With a hard freeze warning in effect from Thursday night until 10 a.m. Friday for Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida, The Weather Authority and experts warn you to protect the five Ps: People, plants, pets, pools and pipes.

The cold weather is not just unpleasant for some, it can cause major issues to your home or business. 

RELATED: National Weather Service watches, warnings, winter weather forecast 

Frozen pipes can cause major leaks. Even temperatures in the 30s and 40s can bring problems.

If pipes crack or burst, it could cost thousands of dollars to repair.

News4Jax on Thursday went to Paul Davis Restoration to find out how you can protect your property.

Leslie Anderson, with Paul Davis Restoration, said one small leak could cause huge problems.

"The drywall may have to come out, your carpet may have to be replaced and your electronics may not be able to be saved," Anderson said.

Not to mention a leak would run up your water bill.

One common scenario when the temperatures take a dip is that the copper pipe can split when it gets cold, causing water to come out at about 3 gallons a minute.

If that happens, Anderson said, the first thing you should do is shut off your main water line. To do that, you must know where it is before an issue occurs.

"All you are going to do is take the dial and turn it," Anderson said.

Prevention is easy. Hardware stores sell foam insulation for less than $1. Wrap it around the pipe for proven protection.

And it's not just copper pipes that can split, but PVC water lines as well.

"PVC gets old. It becomes yellow, brittle and it cracks easily," Anderson said. "And as it gets colder, the glue starts to lose some of its adhesion."

Tiny cracks can be catastrophic, so make sure your pipes are up-to-date.

And if your washing machine is in a garage or a shed, the hoses could get damaged, especially if they’re rubber. Now is a good time to invest in stainless steel -- for about $10.

"It is all about preparation," said Chris Thomas, with Paul Davis Restoration. "Preparation can be from the simplest things, like 25 cents worth of insulated foam, all the way up to a system like this." 

New technology will actually set off an alarm or shut off your water if it detects a leak.

If you’re going to be gone for a couple of days, maybe out of town, experts said it is not a bad idea to turn off your main water valve and drain the pipes, as it could save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Click here for more cold weather tips from Paul Davis Restoration.

WATCH: Workers braving the cold

News4Jax reporter Destiny McKeiver also followed a technician Thursday during a service call for heater maintenance. Josh Weigand, with Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning, said the best advice is to call for regular maintenance to alleviate some of the problems during extreme weather conditions. 

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