Right now, most of us are excited about the ice and snow melting in Texas as warmer temperatures approach. At the same time, many of us are still reeling from the effects of the record-breaking winter storm that blanketed our state this week. Alaskan-like temperatures effectively brought us to our knees as we struggled to stay warm in our own homes. Electricity and water infrastructures in our great Lone Star state crumbled as we grappled with how to stay warm. As the temperatures rise over the next few days, be aware of these safety tips as you embark on the next few days of warmer weather.
Remain cautious of melting snow and ice when driving.
Remember that driving is still dangerous. As the temperatures rise during the coming days and the snow melts and mixes with the dirt and oil on roads, a slush will be present and cause slickness on roads. While this is perhaps preferable to drive in when compared to ice, it’s important to understand it likely won’t stay slush. The forecasted overnight low temperatures that will approach or surpass freezing through Monday will likely cause this slush to refreeze. Morning drivers especially need to remain cautious on the roads. Overconfidence while driving on icy roads can result in fatalities, as witnessed with the catastrophic 133-car pileup in Fort Worth last week. It has been a long time since Texans have dealt this much snow and ice on roads so be careful driving.
Ice and snow is melting in Texas, but roads remain dangerous. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Beware of icicles, they are a thing.
With snow and ice melting in Texas due to the arrival of higher temperatures, icicles will be dropping. The Snow and Ice Management Association based in Wisconsin notes icicles as a significant source of accidents in winter months, especially for regions not accustomed to dealing with harsh winter weather. With pipes breaking inside homes for many Texans, indoor icicles are even a concern. They clog gutters and pipes when they fall, preventing steady water flow and causing damage to pipes and surrounding structures. On the ground, they can cause bumps on roads that can contribute to tire or undercarriage vehicle damage. Be aware of your surroundings. Look above you and around you at all times over these next few days.
Watch for the water.
With the melting of snow and ice in Texas, the threat of flooding and water accumulation becomes real. Take a walk around your property to identify the low-lying areas that may invite water where it is not welcomed. Snow melting on roofs may exacerbate roof damage and cause bigger issues than were there before. Address these problems with a roofing professional sooner rather than later. When water returns to flowing normally, pipes will begin to leak where they have damage. If you hear running water with no obvious root cause, inspect your property. Look for leaking water or obvious signs of water damage. If in doubt, turn off your water at the main water cut-off to your house before calling a plumber or your insurance agent. This one act could save you thousands of dollars in water damage.
Do you have questions?
Are you rethinking your real estate investment in the aftermath of this week’s winter storm? If you are finding yourself in a situation that requires some unbiased real estate or insurance advice, contact Jay Scarpinato, with Scarpinato Group. Or, if you would like to help Texans in need, visit this charity that has partnered with Willie Nelson to help people of the Lone Star state. Additionally, if you would like to help Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana residents in the aftermath of this storm, here is how.