With winter being right on the doorstep of American homes, it’s inevitable that colder temperatures will bring about sleet, ice and snow to many regions. If left unchecked, excess snow and ice can not only cause a significant amount of damage to your property; it can result in your or a family member being seriously injured. Below are a few handy tips that will help ensure that everyone stays safe this winter.
Keep Walkways and Driveways Shoveled
Your first line of defense with regards to preventing injury around your home when it’s snowing is to ensure that all walkways and driveways are shoveled regularly. If you simply don’t have the time to stand and shovel the snow or you are physically unable to do so, using a snow blower can prove to be just as effective – provided that the snow isn’t too deep. Applying a little non-stick spray on your snow shovel will make the job a lot easier because it prevents the snow from sticking to it.
Spread Salt on Walkways
Anyone who lives in an area that is prone to ice during winter will know how it can turn virtually any walkways into a virtual skating rink – which can be disastrous for kids, elderly or disabled friends and family members. Regularly applying a liberal amount of salt on your home’s walkways will enable everyone to walk more confidently, knowing that their chances of slipping and falling have been reduced substantially.
Keep Outdoor Faucets Dripping
One of the biggest risks home owners face during winter is frozen water pipes, which could burst at any time, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. When a water pipe bursts, earlier efforts of shoveling and salting your walkways could be ruined because the excess water will quickly turn to ice on all flat surfaces within a short time. To help prevent this, keep your outdoor faucets dripping slowly. This keeps the water traveling through the pipes, which prevents them from freezing and bursting.
Ensure that Gutters are Kept Clean
A crucial form of maintenance that should be performed before the snow and ice arrives is that of cleaning your home’s gutters. When gutters are blocked, water cannot flow through them and drain away – instead, it collects in them. This can result in excess rain and snow flowing over the gutters instead of through them. Any gutter and roof-related maintenance should be done before the winter weather sets in, as you could be seriously injured if you fall off a roof where an icy layer may have already deposited itself.
Along with the above mentioned tips, keeping a emergency kit in your home and vehicle will help ensure that you and your family are as comfortable as possible in the event of a storm-related power outage. Items that should be in these kits include flashlights, food that doesn’t require cooking, a few toys and games to keep your kids occupied and any prescription medications that may be needed.