This article provides tips for preparing your home and car for snowy weather. To prepare your home, it is recommended to stock up on supplies, clean gutters and downspouts, keep your home warm, and seal drafts. To prepare your car, check your tires, keep your gas tank full, check your battery, and pack an emergency kit. The article includes FAQs on replacing winter tires, using antifreeze in your car, battery testing, getting stranded in a winter storm, and preventing pipes from freezing. Following these tips can keep you safe and warm during the winter months.
Winter weather can be beautiful to look at, but it also has the potential to create a lot of problems for homeowners and drivers. With heavy snowstorms come power outages, road closures, and dangerous driving conditions. If you live in an area where snow is a regular occurrence during the winter months, it’s important to be prepared.
Preparing Your Home for Snowy Weather
1. Stock up on Supplies
You don’t want to be caught without the essentials if a winter storm hits. Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable food items, bottled water, batteries, and blankets on hand. Consider investing in a generator if you live in an area prone to power outages.
2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Before the snow hits, be sure to clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams from forming. This will help to ensure that melting snow doesn’t cause water damage to your home’s roof, walls or foundation.
3. Keep Your Home Warm
During winter, it’s important to keep your home warm to prevent pipes from freezing. Set your thermostat to at least 65 degrees and open up cabinet doors to allow for warmer air to reach pipes.
4. Seal Drafts
Seal any drafts around windows and doors to keep the warm air inside and the cold air out. Use weather-stripping, caulk or draft stoppers to prevent drafts from creeping in.
Preparing Your Car for Snowy Weather
1. Check Your Tires
Winter tires are designed to provide better traction in snowy conditions. If you live in an area with frequent snowfall, it’s recommended to invest in a set of winter tires. Make sure you check the tire pressure and tread on all of your tires, and consider carrying a set of chains in case of heavy snow.
2. Keep Your Gas Tank Full
Keeping your gas tank full helps to prevent fuel lines from freezing. It’s also a good idea to keep a full tank in case you get stranded in the snow and need to keep the car running for warmth.
3. Check Your Battery
Extreme cold weather can take a toll on your car battery. Before winter hits, have your battery tested and replace it if necessary. Also, consider carrying jumper cables in case your battery dies in the middle of a snowstorm.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit
If you get stranded in your car during a winter storm, make sure you’re prepared. Pack an emergency kit with warm blankets, water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit. Also, consider packing a small shovel and some sand or kitty litter to help your car gain traction if you get stuck in the snow.
1. How often should I replace my winter tires?
Winter tires should be replaced every six years, even if they have not yet worn out. This is because the rubber in the tires can degrade over time, reducing their effectiveness in snowy conditions.
2. Can I use regular antifreeze in my car during the winter?
No, regular antifreeze may not be effective in extremely cold temperatures. Make sure you use a coolant specifically designed for winter weather.
3. How often should I have my car’s battery tested?
You should have your car’s battery tested once per year, preferably before winter hits. This will help to prevent unexpected battery failure in extreme cold weather.
4. What should I do if I get stranded in my car during a winter storm?
If you get stranded, stay with your car and use your emergency kit to stay warm and safe. Run the engine for short periods of time to stay warm, but be sure to crack a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. How can I prevent my pipes from freezing during a winter storm?
Keep your home warm and open up cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach pipes. You can also wrap pipes in insulation or heat tape to prevent freezing.