The PNW just survived multiple snow storms – AKA ‘Snowpocalypse’. Many areas received an accumulation of 2 feet of snow (or more!) in just a couple of days. We usually expect to see a few inches of snow each year and maybe one or two days of school closures, many were not expecting this. We’re not in the clear just yet and we might see more snow in the coming weeks. That means it’s not too late to prepare for Winter (now that snow shovels, sand bags, and salt might be back in stock in local stores). For those of us who were not prepared, we compiled a list of good practices in winterizing your home, because no one wants to be the one at the hardware store searching for the last bag of ice melt.
Winter is Coming:
When preparing for winter, it’s best to make sure you have a few items on hand before temperatures drop below freezing. Think of it like insurance – you don’t know when you’ll need a snow shovel, but it’s always better to have one on hand in case you do.
- Snow Shovel
- Ice Scraper/Brooms for your cars
- Ice Melt/Salt
- Faucet Covers – for all of exterior faucets
- Fire Logs – If you have a wood-burning fireplace/chimney, it’s best to have an annual inspection to make sure it’s clear of any animal nests or build-up, as both can be fire hazards. If you’re not using your chimney, invest in a chimney balloon or draft blocker to block out any cold air from entering.
- Winterize Windows: conserve energy and save on your electricity bill by making sure your home is secure of any warm air escaping/cold air entering. Caulk windows, apply window shrink film, + hang heavy drapes/curtains.
- Doors: replace weather stripping around doors, install a door sweep, use a draft blocker against any external doorways.
- Electric Space Heaters
- Winterize your plants + garden
- Clear gutters of any leaves + debris
- Store your grill, smoker, + outdoor furniture in the garage or storage shed to prolong the life of the product
- Furnace Filters + have an annual furnace inspection
- Switch out your thermostat for a programmable one (ideally your home should stay above 55 degrees, even if vacant, to prevent pipes from freezing)
- Above & Beyond: Invest in a generator
- Auto: Fill your cars with gas + buy sandbags for your trucks + snow tires/tire chains
- Prepare an emergency kit for power outages: candles, matches/lighters, batteries, flashlights/lanterns, bottled water, pet food, blankets, first-aid kit.
Winter is Here:
- When temperatures drop below freezing, leave cabinets open below your sink for warmer air to circulate to your pipes. You can also leave your faucets on a steady drip. (Be sure to remove any chemicals/cleaning products away from children + pets.)
- If you know snow is coming, apply ice melt or salt ahead of time to your driveway, walkway, and stairs to make clearing out the snow easier and help prevent it from freezing.
- Shovel snow from your driveway and sidewalks as soon as you can, then pour salt over any areas that may turn to ice. You can also melt ice with deicer or salt. We like to use salt since it’s safer for pets. (If you don’t have any, regular ol’ table salt works great!)
- Remove heavy snow from your roof with a roof rake (particularly for single story homes)
- If you can, carefully knock down those icicles hanging along the roof of your home.
- Clear snow + ice from furnace vents
- Inspect your gutters + downspouts for any damage or heavy snow/ice that may be stuck.
- Remove heavy snow from trees to prevent them from dying, falling/breaking and damaging your home.
- Use your ceiling fans – you heard that right. Turn on your ceiling fans in reverse – in the clockwise direction – to circulate the warm air inside your home.
And finally, don’t forget the bread and milk!
Whether you have questions about buying or selling, searching for a recommendation for any home inspections/contractors, or asking to see if we’ve seen any snow shovels in stock anywhere – we’re here to help! As always, we’re just a call, text, or email away.