The summer’s barely over, but weather-watchers across the mid-Atlantic region are already talking about the threat of snow and ice this winter. Whether it’s a wooly worm you’ve consulted, the Farmer’s Almanac, or computer-generated weather projections, if you’re concerned about winter weather then you need to think about snow & ice management.
Fall is the perfect season for making the little changes needed to help you get through the winter’s unpredictable weather as safely as possible. For your home or business, these tips will help make it easier to get in and out all winter.
Check Your Power Lines
Spring and summer growth might have brought trees and shrubs too close to your power lines. Trim your trees so that if heavy snow or ice breaks branches, it doesn’t also snap your power lines. You may also want to make sure downed limbs won’t damage your roof or vehicles. For your business, check to make sure falling limbs won’t damage customers’ vehicles or block your parking areas.
Inspect your Handrails
On the stairs leading to the door or on the deck behind the house, handrails can become loose over time. Be sure they are in good condition so that when people need the support to prevent falling on snow and ice the rail is ready.
Look for Drainage Concerns
Much of the ice that collects in our region begins as freezing rain, so it’s a good idea to check your sidewalks, porches, and parking areas for spots that don’t drain off. Where water collects now can be icy spots once the temperatures drop.
Stock Up on Supplies
Fall is the perfect time to check your supply of basic winter necessities. Even when you contact us for your snow and ice management needs, you will still want to make sure that your home and business have the basics for immediate storm response. Check to make sure you have a shovel in good condition, ice melt, and a basic emergency kit in case the winter weather hits when you aren’t expecting it.
Prepare your Vehicle
Before the weather turns frightful is the best time to get it ready for what may come. Check your tires for both regular wear and damage from the summer heat. It’s a good idea to have the fluids topped off and double-check your defroster to make sure it is in top condition.
While thinking about your car, consider adding an extra blanket and small emergency kit in the trunk in case others are not as conscientious with their ice and snow management plans as you are.
Clean your Vents and Chimneys
Fall is a great time to have your local HVAC team out to clean your ducts and give your heating system a check-up. Chances are it’s been off for months, getting dusty and being ignored. Don’t wait for the first bad storm to find out that your heater is going out.
Likewise, if you have a fireplace or woodstove, clean the chimney now. No one wants a chimney fire and no one wants to climb on the roof when it’s 35 degrees to remove the squirrel’s nest.
Contact a Snow and Ice Removal Team
In the midst of back-to-school and then prepping for the fall holidays, snow and ice may not be something you’re thinking about. But waiting until the skies turn gray before making your snow and ice removal plans can lead to delays or, worse yet, finding that your preferred company simply can’t take your business.
Talk to your snow removal experts now to develop a plan for winter storms. You should discuss how soon after the snow starts and stops they will be available to clear your parking lot, how they intend to treat it to handle ice or prevent ice accumulation, and even to clarify exactly what they handle. Do they shovel the sidewalk to the door or is that your responsibility?
By preparing for snow and ice now, you can avoid headaches and delays when the bad weather arrives.