Well most of us have been wanting and waiting for it all winter and it seems our prayers have finally been answered; the snow is coming! Besides the fun of snow men, days off school and snow ball fights, the magical white fluffy stuff tends to bring with it a little bit of havoc and chaos to our homes and roads. There’s only so much we can prepare for, but here are some top tips on how to get yourself ready so that you can face the blizzards without the fear of getting stuck.
Keep an eye on weather forecasts, particularly severe weather warnings from the Met Office.
Stock up on basics in case you can’t get out of your home for a couple of days.
Know where your stopcock is located.
Make sure your pipes are adequately lagged and your roof properly insulated.
Grit every evening you know a cold frost/snow is coming.
Prepare Your Car for a Winter Emergency
Keep your fuel tank at least half full
Allowing your fuel gauge to get down to ‘E’ is not a good idea during the winter months for several reasons. Firstly, when there’s very little fuel in your car the lines can freeze, which means your car won’t start. Secondly, if you get stuck while you’re travelling, you’re going to need every drop of fuel to stay warm. Keep your fuel tank filled at least halfway during the winter months.
Winterize your car
Make sure your car’s radiator system is working effectively. Replace your windscreen wiper fluid with an anti-freezing solution. And check your tyre treads; if any are getting worn down, now is the time to replace them so you have adequate traction in the snow.
Prepare an emergency kit
Can you imagine being stuck in your car for 24 hours or more, in sub-zero temperatures? It’s happened to plenty of people in the past, and many people have died from exposure in such situations. Keep the following in your car during the winter months, just in case you get trapped:
A warm blanket or two
Extra antifreeze and windscreen wiper fluid
A small shovel
A snow scraper
An extra hat, scarf and set of gloves
Road salt or sand
Know what NOT to do
If you’re stuck in your car, you might be tempted to run it constantly to keep warm. Don’t! You’ll quickly use up your fuel. Instead, run your car for 10 minutes every hour. And make sure you get out periodically to check on your exhaust pipe, if it gets blocked by snow, you could die from carbon monoxide poisoning. You can also keep one window open a tiny crack to clear fumes.
You also shouldn’t eat snow for hydration. Your body uses precious energy to melt that snow into water, and it also lowers your body temperature. Instead, put the snow in a small cup or container and hold it close to you, giving it time to melt. Then it’s safe to drink.
Prepare your home for snow
Check gutters and pipes
During the autumn it is likely that leaves have blown into gutters and drain pipes. If the gutters become blocked and there is a heavy rain or snowfall the blocked gutters can cause the water to enter the roof space. You should clear your gutters so that the water can run freely into the drainpipes.
Top Tip: If you have an outside tap turn it off from the inside if possible to avoid a frozen or burst pipe.
Clear your paths & driveway
Did you know that you have a duty of care towards anyone coming onto your property? This means that if your paths are slippery and dangerous and the postman slips and injures him or herself it could result in being your fault. If there is a lot of snow on the ground it can often be better to leave a blanket of snow than to half clear the path. A thin layer can compress down and turn to a layer of ice but a blanket of snow is far less likely to be slippery. However the best option is to remove all of it if possible.
Top Tip: If you don’t have access to grit then table salt can be extremely effective to help clear paths. 1 tablespoon can grit around 1 square metre.
Some of the tips above might help you stay safe this winter but future proofing your home in advance is the only sure-fire way to be prepared for such weather conditions.
By installing a SureSet driveway or pathway you would be free from the worry of ice, frost and slippery surfaces. Resin bound driveways expand and contract when the water freezes between the voids; this is why we cover against frost damage. We can install the material all year round even in the winter if temperatures are above 0c and rising.
Installing a fully permeable driveway in the summer will put rainfall back into the natural water table and prevent drains from excessive water intake and help lower blockages .
The salt will not break down or weaken the high quality resin technology we use in all of our products.
For more information on our winter-friendly surfaces, contact our Sales team at:[email protected]