To some, it’s a wonderful time of year but to others, it’s a time that cannot be over fast enough and the thought of it arriving fills them with a sense of resigned dread. That’s right – the winter season is fast approaching and bringing with it cold temperatures, snow, sleet, ice and having to bundle up in twenty layers before leaving the house. It brings shorter days and even longer nights, with time changes making it so it seems you leave your house in the dark and return home in the dark; only seeing the daylight in glimpses from your workplace and those favored days off.
Why You Should Be Ready
Although there are warning signs that winter is coming, from the drop in temperatures to the shorter days; a lot of people can find themselves wholly unprepared for the winter season. Part of that is because they think “this snow won’t last and it’s too soon for winter to set in” and another part of that is because there is a fair amount of prep work to be done to get ready for the winter. You need to prepare yourself, your home, your vehicle, and even your backyard. Today we are going to run through some helpful guidelines and tips to get yourself in the winter mode and become more prepared to meet Old Man Winter.
How to Prepare the Home
When it comes to preparing the home for the winter season, you almost need to look at the home as a whole and also look at it in terms of rooms that are high-traffic areas. A few helpful guidelines to help prepare your home for winter include but are not limited to:
• Use a window insulation kit on the windows of your home to prevent heat escaping from miniscule leaks in the window seals and prevent condensation that can cause rot over time.
• Install weather strips on the doorframes of your home to prevent heat from escaping through ill-fitting seams or seals.
• Ensure there is a supply of candles, propane heaters, spare blankets and even a propane camping stove in the home in the case of a power outage.
• Ensure that there is a supply of bottled water, dry goods, and medications in the case of a power outage.
• Inspect the roof of your home for potential leaks or loose shingles.
• Turn off any water sources that exist on the outside of the home to prevent pipes from leaking, freezing and breaking.
• Clean the chimney, especially if your main source of heat is wood, to prevent chimney fires and smoke inhalation.
How to Prepare the Outside of the Home
When it comes to preparing the home for winter, sometimes people tend to focus and concentrate on just the inside of the home to ensure that heat doesn’t escape during the colder months, pipes stay intact and the home can be easily transitioned back to springtime mode. This is all wonderful, but the outside of the home also can benefit from some wintertime preparation such as:
• Ensure that you have an adequate supply of de-icing salt for the driveways and pathways surrounding your home to avoid injury.
• Cover and/or store furniture, outdoor appliances such as BBQs in an area that will be protected from heavy snowfall to avoid damage.
• Install backyard space heaters on the patio of your home for the crisper but clear nights that you want to enjoy some outdoor fun such as building a snowman, having a bonfire, etc.
• Backyard Boss has the best collection of reviews for the hottest space heaters on the market today for the cold winter ahead.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle
• Now that we have discussed some ways to prepare the home both inside and out for the upcoming winter season, let’s take a look at some ways to prepare your vehicle as well. Some tips to follow are, but not limited to:
• Make an appointment for a maintenance check at your local service shop to ensure that all engine, coolant, and antifreeze levels are where they should be for peak performance.
• Install winter tires on your vehicle that have good pressure and a high amount of thread to ensure safety during drives on precarious roads covered in snow, ice and slush.
• Have a winter box in your car that consists of a spare set of warm clothes, gloves, first aid kit, flashlights, road flares, a bag of sand (for traction should you go into deep snow) and high-energy snacks that don’t expire.
• Check road conditions and upcoming weather conditions before leaving the home during the winter and plan the safest route to arrive at your destination.
How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family
Last but certainly not least, people need to prepare themselves and their family for the winter ahead. To prepare everyone for a safe and happy winter, make sure that you do the following:
• Stay active during the winter to maintain good physical and mental health.
• Maintain a good skin care routine that will prevent dry skin, scaly patches, rashes and splits in the skin. Use a hydrating moisturizer on the skin, lips and hands and a humidifier in the winter months to add moisture back into the air of the home.
• Avoid viruses and illness by instilling a good hygienic routine – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough, take a multivitamin on a daily basis and visit your doctor to see if there are any levels in the body that are low.
By following these tips and guidelines, you won’t be taken aback when winter is suddenly upon the area that you live in. While winter is never pleasant unless you are an avid enthusiast for winter activities and even then when there is nothing but storms in the forecast, it can be draining on your mental health.
The sense of dread that winter can invoke is eased when you are ready for it and ready to make a stand against the cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and shorter days. While preparing yourself, home and vehicle against the winter season, use this time to create bonding experiences for you and your family. Enlist your children and partner to help in the tasks that come with preparing for winter and turn it into a fun game by setting challenges for the most tasks completed in a set timeframe.
Unless you can afford to travel south for the winter, you, unfortunately, have to face it, so why not take some time to make sure that you are putting your best winter-booted foot forward this season?