When you’re new to a colder climate, you don’t realize how much prep work you need to do for winter. If winter brings snow and ice, you need more than a pair of good snow boots. You need specific tools to get through the day. If you’re new to an area where snow and ice are an integral part of winter, here’s a list of hacks to make it through the winter:
1. Get a wood holder for your fireplace
When you’re new to a cold climate, you might think it won’t be a big deal to go outside and grab some wood when you need to make a fire. That might have been acceptable when you were making occasional fires in your hometown, but in a cold winter, you’ll get tired of fetching wood.
A wood holder makes it easy to keep a stockpile of wood next to your fireplace or wood stove. Just place it next to your fireplace tools, away from your heat source, and you’ll save yourself some unnecessary cold trips out to the shed.
2. Get some ice cleats
Each year, more than 800,000 people are hospitalized after a fall, mostly due to hip and head injuries. During the winter, people commonly slip and fall on ice-covered walkways, steps, and driveways. Icy roads affect four-footed friends, too. When driveways and roads are too slick, people can’t take their dogs for a walk.
Ice cleats solve that problem. Ice cleats are designed to easily slip over your shoes or boots, and provide traction on the ice and snow. Some models are significantly better than others. Be sure to read all the reviews to find out which brands are more durable and easier to put on.
Some brands use a crisscross chain across the sole (similar to the chains you’d put on a car’s tires), and other ice cleats use small pieces of metal similar to soccer cleats. All are designed with a rubber frame that stretches over your shoe, but some don’t stretch very well, and you’ll need to get a bigger size to use on snow boots. The STABILicers brand happens to be both durable and more stretchable.
Ice cleats are essential if you live in an area that gets ice and/or snow.
3. Get a snow melting mat for your porch
Snow melting mats are exactly what they sound like. Plop one of these on your porch and you won’t need to shovel your way down to the car.
4. Nail roofing material to your steps
There are plenty of options for adding grip to your steps, but most options are complicated and don’t last long. For example, you can get all kinds of sprays and paints, but you have to apply them in the summer and wait for them to dry. They’re also expensive.
Some of the liquid solutions are perfect for indoors, but terrible outdoors. For example, anti-skid paint or slip-resistant spray might be perfect for your indoor steps, but they won’t provide the grip you need in winter outdoors. The products you’ve used in the past in warmer climates aren’t necessarily going to cut it in a winter with ice and snow.
You could spend a lot of money covering your steps in grip tape. However, despite its name, grip tape doesn’t always provide enough grip. The better solution is to get some granular roofing material and cut it to the size of your steps and nail it down. It will provide non-slip grip all year round, and you don’t have to wait until summertime to install it.
5. Always have bulk salt on hand
When water freezes, the molecules arrange themselves in a more ordered structure, which creates ice. Salt slows this process down and creates traction by breaking up existing ice. Salt is an impurity that impedes the molecules’ ability to connect with each other to form ice. Adding ice to water also makes the freezing point drop, suppressing the formation of ice even further.
You can get bags of salt at any department store, but if you have pets, be sure to get salt that doesn’t have toxic additives. There’s nothing wrong with using bulk bags of sea salt if you’ve already got some lying around. Salt is salt, and even the kind you cook with will break up and prevent the formation of ice.
Keep looking for hacks
These are just several common hacks that will make your life easy in winter. Keep searching and you’ll find more.
Article Submitted By Community Writer