This is a guest post written by Tracey Clayton from High Style Life.
When you’re a parent who has to make sure everything in and around their home works like a clock all year long, winter months might prove to be a bit more complicated than the rest of the year. And if you don’t know where to start and are worried you might forget something important, take a look at these tips on how to prepare for winter conditions.
Take care of the heating
The heating in your home is an area in which you can’t allow for any surprises, so make sure you have everything ready on time. No matter what your heat source for the winter is, do a test run of it while the weather is still mild and pleasant, so that you know it will function properly when it gets colder. Buy enough wood if that’s what you use for heating, and don’t forget to clean your furnaces, as well as your chimneys. If you use one of the other types of heating systems, you might want to check if your boilers or heat pumps are in order and if they need some maintenance. You might also want to invest in an electric heater. Although they are quite expensive for heating a home, they are an affordable plan B, in case your regular heating system malfunctions.
Prepare your home
As important as heating is, it’s definitely not the only concern you should have in anticipation of the freezing winter months. For example, if you’re worried about ice dams on your roof and the damage they might cause when they start melting, do whatever you can to prevent them. Since they are usually formed by the escaped heat from your home that melts the snow on the roof, you can try and insulate the places from which the hot air can leak into your attic and then to the roof. These include the spaces around your exhaust fans, light fixtures and vent pipes, but also around your chimneys. Another thing you can do is to clean your gutters, so that any excess water can flow down through them, instead of lingering on your roof and causing leaks. Furthermore, make sure your windows and doors are doing their job and that any gaps around them are filled. After you make sure they aren’t leaking, you should insulate your pipes and spigots, so that they don’t freeze and bust during winter.
Put your car in order
If you still plan to use your car when winter comes, and you know you do, you need to make some adjustments to it before the first snow. First of all, inspect your tires and see if you need new ones. If the weather can be very rough where you live, you should probably get snow tires, and if not, you can stick to your all-season ones, as long as the tread on them is sufficient. You might want to add some anti-freeze fluid and change your summer windshield fluid for the winter one, so that it doesn’t freeze in low temperatures. If your windshield or one of your car windows has a rock chip that normally doesn’t bother you, find a good glass auto repair service that can come over to your place and fix it anyway. This is very important, since these tiny scratches and chips can turn into serious cracks in the blistering cold, which can actually prevent you from using your ride. Another thing you have to have in your car is the first aid kit, but also useful things like jumper cables, an ice scraper and a flashlight. Having some salt or a bag of cat litter can also mean a lot if your car ever gets stuck in the snow or it won’t go up an icy road. Finally, to stay on the safe side, pack a change of warm clothes, a sleeping bag, a few energy bars and some water, just in case there’s some sort of storm and you get stuck on the road. If you want a full printable list of emergency items to have in your car, GO HERE to print one!
Go through your closets and cupboards
Making sure your family is ready for winter doesn’t stop at preparing your car and your home. You should go through your kids’ closets, as well as through your own, and see if needs to be replaced. If your last years’ coat and boots are still good, of course you don’t have to get new ones, but your kids might have overgrown theirs and you should do your shopping now, before it’s too late. Once the temperatures drop and it starts snowing, you can’t really send your little ones to school in clothes that don’t fit them. Another thing you should bear in mind is your emergency kit. If there’s a storm and you can’t leave your home for days, you should always have enough food and water to sustain your whole family until you’re safe. Stock your cupboards with imperishable food, bottled water, extra batteries and medicines. Get a radio that runs on batteries and have some shovels and other tools at hand in case you need them.
When you’re prepared for anything, you’ll get fewer unpleasant surprises, so make sure that you and your family are ready for whatever winter has in store for you.
About the author:
Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”