Living in a cold climate brings a completely different set of obstacles to overcome. Winter brings snow and ice that can wreak havoc on your car and home. If you are not prepared to combat the harsh weather of winter, you can be prepared for a few long and cold months. If you are new to living in a cold climate it is a good idea to have emergency essentials in your car and home. You never know when a snow storm will hit you hard! Fortunately, there are also many tools out there that will help you make it through the winter unscathed. We have gathered a list of 6 winter tools that no one should live without. These tools will making cold weather living much more bearable.
The first winter tool on this list is a good snow shovel. Having a reliable snow shovel is a must in the winter time. It can remove dangerous snow and ice from your driveway and walkways before you fall and injure yourself. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all shovels are created equally. While they may all get the basic job done, some will get that job done much easier than others. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a snow shovel. You want to choose a snow shovel that is a comfortable height and weight for you to handle. You can also invest in metal snow shovels, over a plastic shovel, if your area frequently has ice storms. You don’t need to drop a fortune on a snow shovel, there are plenty of quality shovels available to consumers at a very affordable price.
Like a snow shovel, a snow blower is an important winter tool to own. Especially if you have an especially long driveway or sidewalk. There are pros and cons to choosing to use a snow blower over a shovel. Using a snow blower is not only much faster than using a snow shovel, but it will save you from back breaking labor. Although the snow blower is a tough winter tool, it shouldn’t be left exposed to the elements. If you decide to invest in a snow blower, you will need to make sure you have a safe place to store the snow blower. A backyard shed or garage will work nicely. A snow blower also comes with a little more maintenance than a shovel does. If you own a snow blower you should be prepared to fix parts, and purchase fuel.
While removing the ice and snow is helpful, it often isn’t enough. Fluctuating temperatures during the winter can cause snow banks to melt and then refreeze leaving your walks covered in dangerous black ice. Before someone slips and falls, it would be wise to cover your walks in an ice melter. Most people will use rock salt as their ice melter. These course chunks of salt not only lower the freezing point of ice (making it harder to melt and refreeze), but it will add needed traction for you to walk on top of. However if you have pets rock salt can be a harmful substance to spray all over your property. The rock salt can be fatal to cats and dogs if ingested, or even if it gets between the pads in their feet. Luckily, there are pet safe ice melting options available at most pet stores.
While the snow and ice underfoot may be dangerous, there is also a concern for the snow and ice overhead! When the snow falls, melts, and refreezes on your roof it can form dangerous ice dams. Not only can these ice dams damage your roof or gutters, but they can fall of in large sheets and potentially hit you or your property below. Luckily there is a winter tool called a roof rake that will easily help you remove snow from the edge of your roof before it can form an ice dam. These telescoping tools let you work from the safety of the ground. A quick raking after a large snowstorm will prevent ice dams or dangerous icicles from forming on your roof. Roof rakes can be found at many hardware and online retailers for just a few hundred dollars.
An ice scraper is an essential winter tool to keep in your car. Ice scrapers can be stored in a glove box or the trunk of your car. Although there are plenty of ways to remove frost from a car, using this winter tool is the most effective way. They are specially designed to scrape hard layers of ice off of your windows without scratching or damaging the windshield. Most ice scrapers will also come with a brush to dust snow off of the top of your car. An ice scraper is an inexpensive tool, but it will definitely come in handy. We recommend picking up an ice scraper to store in each car during the winter.
Snow Chains/ Snow Tires
Our final winter tool is another accessory for your car. Driving on snow and ice may be the single biggest safety concern for people living in cold weather climates. Even big SUVs or trucks with four wheel drive can slip and slide off the road in winter conditions. In order to avoid a costly mistake of being unprepared, we suggest you invest in a set of snow tires or chains to go over your tires. While most snow chains are famously difficult to install, most chains are now made to be user friendly. You can easily store your snow chains in the trunk of your car until a snow storm hits and then put them on your tires for a safe drive home.
Living in a place covered in snow and ice doesn’t need to be dangerous or scary! Having the correct and proper winter tools will go a long way to keeping you safe this winter. Most of these winter tools are a bit of an investment, but they will pay for themselves over and over again. Because once you aren’t afraid of the snow, it's easier to see how beautiful living in a snow covered world can be.
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