When it comes to preparing for winter it's easy to lose sight of certain tasks, or put them off far too long. While heavy snowfall isn't a certainty, not preparing for it can leave you in a terrible situation the first time a few inches fall, and you'll be playing catch-up for the rest of the season. Instead, taking care of a few essentials can not only ensure you're ready, but won't put you in a crunch if the snow never falls.
Tools for Clearing
Snow shovels and blowers form the backbone of most households' snow removal plan, but too often fall to neglect between storms or from one winter to the next. Making sure your tools are in good condition will ensure that you're ready for the next major storm, and often doesn't cost you much more than time. Gas powered snow blowers will require a small engine mechanic to properly service though, and may need to be partially disassembled to clean away rust or to free seized components.
By fall you should be actively engaged in cleaning and sharpening snow blower blades, cleaning your snow shovel of rust, and ensuring any fittings will keep the blade firmly attached to the handle. Whether you're using manual labor or mechanical force to clear the snow, take a moment before you get started and coat the blades of either shovel or blower with mineral oil to protect them. This will also prevent ice from clinging to them as the metal chills.
Keeping Things Clear
Melting snow will result in patches of ice on walkways, driveways and sidewalks if you're not careful, so stock up on de-icing agents to help prevent it. Avoid salt whenever possible though, as this will corrode your tools, damage vehicles and wreak havoc on your lawn when things thaw out. Instead, use fine sand to help provide traction for foot traffic and vehicles, and ice control products containing carbonyl diamide and glycol, which will remain effective even below zero, or other green alternatives.
Check your ice control coverage daily, even if it hasn't snowed recently, to make sure that sand isn't being washed away, and chemical treatments are still effective. Even on very cold days, ice and snow will still melt, and run off over your driveway, paths and sidewalks, so don't let this out of your notice. Make sure you have sufficient de-icing agent and sand to see you through the season, as most of these won't lose their effectiveness over time.
Being prepared for the first major snow fall of the year will put you head and shoulders ahead of most other people on your block. This will ensure you're able to get to work on time, and won't lose nearly as much sleep dealing with the problem. You can also check with a local property servicing company, like AP Enterprises Property Services, if you have several properties you need to keep clear of snow.