(Family Features) Year after year, winter proves to be a challenging season. This year, prepare for the inevitable with these 10 steps:
- Equip yourself with the right snow removal tools, including a reliable snow blower, shovel and ice scraper. The new and innovative Snow Joe iON Hybrid Snow Blower is the perfect accessory to have this winter season because it the first to use both battery and corded electric power, giving you plenty of clearing time. It’s also ready-to-use in case of an unexpected snow fall, no gas or oil involved.
- Rock salt or sand your walkways, driveways and other pathways to improve traction and melt snow and ice. Rock salt melts ice when the temperature is about 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Sand does not melt ice, but improves traction during dangerous conditions. You may consider adding both to your driveway and walkways to ensure optimal safety.
- Insulate your pipes by wrapping them in insulation or newspapers and plastic. Insulate your pipes to lower your chance of dealing with the stress of having your pipes freeze later. Keep the faucets dripping water so that water is always flowing through the
pipes, rather than standing still.
- Install reliable winter tires on your car. Reliable snow tires will be well worth the cost if you live in a snowy or icy environment.
- Have “survival kits” in your car and at home in case of a winter emergency. Include water, blankets, a battery-powered flashlight, a battery-powered radio, emergency flares, energy bars, a pocket knife, rope, jumper cables, a lighter, rock salt and sand in the kit. For your car, look for multi-tasking items, such as the 4-in-1 illum-n-Broom, which removes snow and ice and can act as emergency blinker lights.
- Clear gutters and repair roof leaks to avoid clogging from snow. Don’t put cleaning your gutters off until the weather conditions are too unbearable. It is important to clear out your gutters and repair your roof to help avoid major damage from snow and ice.
- Invest in a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are at their peak during the winter months, so protect yourself from this harmful gas by installing carbon monoxide detectors in every sleeping area and on every level within your home.
- Check your windows and doors for cracks, leaks or drafts and repair them as snow and cold weather set in. This improves efficiency within your home and keeps you warm from the cold air and wind. Install a door draft insulator to help prevent air leakage.
- Check out your heating system and replace furnace filters as the temperature drops. You don’t want to realize your heater doesn’t work and that you’re without a warm living space as colder weather sets in.
- Drain and turn off your sprinkler system. This may seem like a no brainer, but many people don’t remember to complete this task. Drain and turn off your sprinkler system, as well as your hoses, to prevent freezing and other problems.
Take advantage of these useful tips during the winter months, and if snow and temperatures are already falling, make sure to take action as soon as possible.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock (all images but Snow Joe)