The snowy season is just around the corner, is your home ready? Ice and cold weather can damage your home, and making repairs in the winter can be a living nightmare. We put together a list of things to do to prepare your home and family for the frigid temperatures ahead.
Stock Up on Salt & Sand
Sprinkle down what we’re calling ‘sidewalk salt’ before a storm actually hits. Street crews in snowy cities around the world do this preemptively in order to get a jump on a storm. When the snow starts, the salt activates and melts it as it lands.
Keep sand on hand to sprinkle after a storm, in places that were missed with the salt or that formed crusted snow anyway. Store the sand in a dry place indoors or else the moisture in it could freeze. Also, only use coarse sand, as play sand is ineffective.
Even if it hasn’t snowed yet, fire up your snowblower. Make sure it’s running properly and consider purchasing extra parts to have on hand. If something goes wrong in the middle of a storm, you might not be able to make a quick trip to the hardware store for a replacement. Double-check that you have the necessary tools to repair the blower if needed. Keep your blower in a smart location, near the driveway or walkway that is primarily used, so that you can quickly and easily get to work on the snow.
Check the Gutters
A step that is commonly missed, checking and cleaning out your gutters after the last of the Autumn leaves has fallen is crucial. Blockages create clogs and cause ice damming, which can do irreparable damage to your gutters. If it’s too late to get someone out to clean your gutters, at least try to get up there and clear some leaves yourself. You’ll be grateful you did come the Spring.
Test your sump pump and make sure it can handle all the melted snow that’s coming. Dump five gallons of water around it and see if it activates. Install window well covers or at least cover window wells with plastic and tape to try to prevent water from dripping down and filling your window wells.
Tip for Snow Shovelers
A quick little tip that can make shoveling snow a lot easier is to use nonstick cooking spray. Spray the head of the shovel and the snow will slide right off with ease when you throw it to the side. Without the spray, the snow can clump and freeze on the shovel, making it both heavier and harder to use effectively.
Now you can sit back and relax by the fire with your mug of hot cocoa knowing that no matter what this winter season throws at you, you’re ready.