Manage the Snow and Ice This Winter
Old Man Winter is here in the Bluegrass, whether we like it or not! Make sure you’re prepared for whatever wintery mix comes our way.
1. Upgrade Your Snow Shovel
There are a plethora of types of snow shovels on the market. Make sure you get one that is right for you. Bob Villa has a list of 10 of the best snow shovels to help save your back. Look for a shovel with a sturdy steel or wooden handle. The blade’s edge should be reinforced with galvanized steel.
2. Buy a Quality Window Scraper
Talk about a piece of equipment that you don’t think about until it’s too late! Invest in a sturdy window scraper for your car. Get one that is at least 2 feet in length and has a brush or squeegee on one end. Don’t count on a cheap one to get you through the winter!
3. Stock Up on Ice Melter
Here in Central Kentucky, we’ve had our fair share of ice storms. Make sure you’re well stocked with ice melters. The best ice melters contain magnesium chloride or calcium chloride. They melt ice at temperatures near 0 degrees Fahrenheit and are generally less harmful to the environment. Rock salt is slightly less expensive, but it melts ice more slowly, ceases to be effective below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and may damage concrete, lawns and plantings and may even be harmful to animals. If you’re looking for something to give you traction, sand or kitty litter will help give you more grip on the ice, but will not melt it.
4. Invest in a Roof Rake
Ice Dams can cause major damage to your roof and your home if you don’t take care of them. Ice dams are an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof. When interior heat melts the snow, water can run down and refreeze at the roof's edge, where it's much cooler. If the ice builds up and blocks water from draining off the roof, water is forced under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house. You’ll want to use the rake to remove snow buildup from the lower 3 or 4 feet of your roof, so that melting snow can drain off before ice dams have a chance to build up.