Every year we gather with friends and family and celebrate during the holidays, for some it is a relaxing affair, others a whirlwind, one way or another winter is definitely on our doorstep now. Here are 5 easy tips to keep everything around the house in tip top shape.
- The right footware for the right terrain
Winter has its challenges and amongst those challenges are slipping & sliding while on foot. Save yourself the agony of falling and possibly injuring self and all the pain, discomfort & inconvenience that can go along with that injury. A well insulated good gripped sole pair of boots is worth the investment & the time to lace them up on a snowy slippery day. Even with the insurance of good traction there are still times when slipping is inevitable. Always be aware of where & what surface you are walking on. Keep your hands out of your pockets because when that unexpected slip happens you will have a much better chance of preventing a fall by catching your balance with your arms & hands free.
- Thaw refreeze
It is a fact that we experience more days in the winter now than ever before where the temperatures rise above the freezing mark during the day and then dip below it again overnight. This creates a thaw refreeze affect with melting snow and ice. Even on a sunny day where the thermometer stays below the freezing mark can cause melt off. Be prepared for those unexpected icy areas in parking lots, driveways and sidewalks that can cause one to slip and even fall. There are many products on the market in this environmentally conscious society today to prevent these misfortunes. There are products available to melt ice that are safer for the planet than traditional rock salt. They are more expensive but if used sparingly can go a long way. They will also melt ice & snow at lower temperatures than rock salt. Sand is a great alternative and completely harmless to our water tables. It won’t melt ice or snow but will give great traction on slippery surfaces to prevent a fall. Please keep in mind that once winter is past and all snow is gone that the sand (unlike melting products) will still be where you spread it. You may have some cleanup to tend to in the spring.
- Keep the lights bright
December & January are 2 months that offer the least amount of daylight but we have the festive lights of the holiday season inside & on the exterior of our homes to distract us from these long dark nights. Come January they don’t get turned on or they come down & packed away for another season. Keep the brightness and warming atmosphere of lighting alive. Replace the multi colorful lights of Christmas with white lights for January, February, & even into March until we begin to enjoy the natural light from the days getting longer again. Use energy efficient fixtures and timers to maintain hydro to a minimum and let the joy of lighting brighten up these short dark days of winter.
- Check around the exterior
Clearing away snow from parking lots, driveways, & walkways are the obvious areas to keep on top of in the winter months. But as the season progresses those snowfalls one after the other begins to accumulate around your building, office, & home in more in obvious areas. This can cause concern for proper venting from various mechanical items from within the building. These items are (but not limited to) natural gas meters, furnace vents, gas fireplace vents, dryer vents, & hot water tank vents. Snow build up around any kind of venting can cause malfunction or more importantly injury. So beware & take care.
- Clear any additional clutter from the garage
The holidays has a way of making things pile up in the garage, from the extra waste from a holiday party or cardboard from gifts, take the time now to get everything organized and sorted. A visit to the dump may even be in order.