The frigid temps, biting winds, and mounds of snow make winter a challenging season for homeowners and renters.
Dealing with ice, shoveling snow, and protecting your home can seem like daunting tasks when the weather outside turns frightful. But having the right gear, supplies, and knowledge can make a world of difference. Read on for tips and tools to help you conquer the cold weather and survive winter with ease.
Snow Removal Tools
When the snow starts piling up, having the right equipment can save your back and make clearing it away much faster. Here are some of the top options for removing snow from your property:
Snow Shovels –
A sturdy snow shovel with an ergonomic handle is essential for clearing steps, walkways, decks, and smaller areas. Sleigh shovels and push shovels are ideal for moving large amounts of snow efficiently. Look for lightweight materials like aluminum or plastic. Add a shovel with a curved blade for scooping and tossing snow off to the side.
Snow Blowers –
Gas and electric snow blowers make quick work of big driveways and sidewalks. Two-stage gas blowers with augers and impeller blades work best for heavy, deep snow while single-stage electric blowers are great for lighter snowfalls. Track drive units provide the best traction.
Other Snow Removal Tools –
Roof rakes allow you to clear accumulated snow from your roof safely. Snow pushers or plows attach to your truck or ATV to scrape snow away. Ice choppers break up ice on walkways. And telescoping snow brooms reach up to clear snow off of cars, gutters, and second-story roofs.
Ice Melting Chemicals and Traction Aids
Melting ice on walkways and improving traction are crucial for safety. Here are the best options:
Ice Melters –
Salts containing calcium chloride or magnesium chloride work faster than plain rock salt at lower temps. Some are pet-friendly. Apply evenly before snow or ice forms.
Traction Aids –
Sprinkle sand or kitty litter for a temporary grip on icy patches. For frequent ice issues, install permanent ice cleats or spikes that attach to shoe soles.
Tips and Hacks for Dealing with Winter Weather
Outsmarting winter takes planning and preparation. Use these tips and tricks:
- Prevent ice dams on roofs by keeping gutters clean and installing roof heating cables. Insulate attic access hatches.
- Avoid frozen pipes by sealing air leaks, insulating exposed pipes, allowing faucets to drip during sub-zero temps, and opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate.
- Wrap trees, shrubs, and outdoor faucets with insulating material. Prune away dead wood to reduce cold damage.
- Remove snow within 24 hours of snowfall from sidewalks and driveways to prevent a layer of ice from forming. Apply deicer for extra protection.
- Drive slowly and increase following distance. Accelerate and brake gently to avoid skids. Keep an emergency kit with warm clothes, blankets, traction aids, and snacks in your vehicle.
Preparing your home and having the right gear on hand will empower you to take on winter weather when it hits. Investing in a quality snow blower, ice melter, traction aids, and other cold-weather tools pays off when you need to act swiftly.
Implementing preventative measures and smart hacks for icy, snowy conditions reduces stress while keeping your property safe. With these tips, you can relax and enjoy the beauty of freshly fallen snow without breaking your back or slipping into a state of anxiety. Winter doesn’t have to be something you endure – it can be an exciting season full of possibilities – especially when you have the right tools and know-how.