Winter survival tips for homeowners depend on what steps you take in preparation for the coming winter season. While snow removal might be the last thing on your mind when snow falls on your driveway, it is just as important to remove snow from your gutters and downspouts. A well planned and implemented snow removal schedule will allow you to have a safe, clean driveway every time the weather conditions are right.
Gutters and downspouts are not only used for snow removal, but also to keep water flowing away from the home. Water that is left running on your roof is potential energy loss. Additionally, left over snow that has melted and settled on your gutters and downspouts can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Remove all debris from your gutters and water lines on a daily basis. If you live in an area where the winter weather is particularly severe, it may be advised to remove the snow from your gutters and water lines at least for one month.
The best time of year to remove snow from your gutters and downspouts is during the day. Although this might seem counterproductive, removing snow from gutters and downspouts before the first freeze of the winter season will allow you time to prepare your home for the long cold winter. During this time you will likely have many trees falling around your property. Throwing snow of any kind into your gutters and spreading it across your roof will most likely melt onto the roof. This will also spread chemicals and insect killer into the snow, which is never a good thing.
To prepare for winter, it is also important to remove snow from your gutters and downspouts. If you have an attached gutter, remove the snow from the gutter completely by hand. It might take some time, but it is worth the effort to ensure your gutters and downspout systems are safe and secure from the potential damage ice dams can cause.
Another winter survival tips for homeowners is to avoid using large amounts of water when the weather starts to get cold. Most people have a tendency to over-water, when it’s cold outside. However, this is not a good idea for several reasons. First, you will waste a lot of water. Second, if the large amount of water you throw out during the winter does not freeze, you will be putting an unnecessary amount of heat into the water supply, which means you will have to pay a high electric bill to keep the water running.
If you must use water, make sure you only use water that was designed for winter use. Use rain barrels or birdbaths to fill up empty water containers. You will also want to avoid putting any type of oil or gasoline in your vehicle. Gasoline and oil can actually heat up the water and increase your risk of a fire if they leak.
Finally, if you must leave your home, consider taking several safety precautions. If you are sitting outside, especially on an exposed part of the roof, it is a good idea to have an extra set of keys with you. It is also a good idea to have an emergency beacon with you. These two winter survival tips for homeowners will help you stay safe if you must leave your home in the winter.
The best time to prepare for winter is early fall. If you do leave your home before the first snowfall, you can likely make it to your home in one piece. The best way to ensure that you are safe is to follow all the winter survival tips for homeowners above. This way, you can feel confident that you will be safe inside your home even if you need to leave it quickly.