Surprise Snowstorms in Alberta aren’t really much of a surprise anymore but can catch us all off guard regardless. Nuera would like to provide some tips on what to do after the snow flies!
- Lighten the load on the roof - Walk the perimeter of your home. Are the gutters and eaves looking fierce with icicles? Your roof may be forming an Ice Dam. This is when ice freezes onto hard ridges and prevents snowmelt from draining your roof. Without anywhere to go, the melting water may find its way into your home. Weight of extreme snow and ice may also stress the roof. One method to avoid this would be to purchase a snow rake to remove the snow from reachable areas.if your home is more than 1 story tall though it is best to contact a professional to handle it!
- Clear your Walkways - in order to prevent injury to your family and others make sure to shovel and apply ice melt or gravel promptly after a storm. As a homeowner you could be found liable and potentially sued if a person where to slip and fall on your walkway/driveway if you have not removed the snowfall. Be proactive as well, and apply ice melt ahead of the storm if you know its on its way as it will lower the freezing point of water as it hits your driveway/sidewalks. **Commercial ice melt tends to be gentler on plants and landscaping than traditional salt applications. Pet safe products can also be purchased to protect Fido's precious pads from ice burn.
- Clear snow & ice from furnace vents - Cases of Carbon monoxide poisonings spike in the winter, especially when unexpected snowfall occurs early in the fall season. Vents that carry carbon monoxide out of the home can become blocked with dangerous consequences. Gently remove the snow from furnace vents and also remove snow from around your gas, electric and water meters as well.
- Check your trees - with early season snowfall trees still bearing leaves can bend and break under the weight of the heavy snow causing damages to the homes nearby and also the trees themselves. A good idea is to have an arborist inspect your trees before winter but if the surprise storm hits you can carefully remove the snow load from sagging tree limbs with a broom or long pole. **Work gently! The cold may have made the branches brittle and be sure to stand out of the way of the falling snow!
- Call your neighbours - once you’ve checked your own home, contact your neighbours to make sure they’re OK! Seniors and people with disabilities may need help with shovelling or needing to get out of their homes to gather supplies for the coming days that they may be unable to make it to stores etc.
- Book your appointment to change your car to snow tires NOW! - All weather tires aren’t always made for all weather. Winter tires are specifically designed to trudge thru the snow and adhere to the road when the temperature plummets versus hardening the rubber making your vehicle a literal toboggan on the compacted snow on the roads. **Also keep an emergency road kit in your vehicle at all times. This should include blankets, candles, a shovel, flares, jumper cables, ice scraper, winter hats & gloves, first aid kit, flashlights, duct tape, paper towels, pen & paper, non-perishable foods, dry sand/kitty litter, bottled water, maps, phone charger. Keep these items in a reliable storage container to keep them dry.
Winter storms seem to be earlier and more severe each year but with the above tips you can keep your family and property safe and can actually enjoy the beauty that is this winter wonderland we call home!