3 Things You Absolutely Must Do To Prepare for Winter

Winter is coming. Are you ready? If you live in a cold climate, you need to prepare your home and yourself for the frigid months ahead. Failure to do so could cost your wallet — and your health — big time.

Before you get excited for steaming mugs of hot cocoa and holiday music galore, make sure you do these three things to ensure that you have a safe, secure, and cozy winter.

1. Monitor Your Rooftop

Roofs are not invincible. Too much snow piled on your rooftop can lead to roof and gutter damage, or worse, a life-threatening roof collapse. To protect yourself and your family, invest in a snow load calculator. These systems can monitor the pressure your rooftop is under and alert you when action must be taken. When it comes to safety, prevention is key.

2. Insulate Your Home

Door cracks and window leaks cost the average American household thousands of dollars each year. Before the cold sets in, make sure to insulate your home properly. Check entryways and exits for drafts. Inspect your floorboards and molding for signs of damage. Small issues can be fixed with spray foam or other insulating products. If you come across any major problems, consider hiring a professional to do the work for you.

3. Travel Safely

Keep these three things in mind as you use your vehicle in the winter. First, when starting your vehicle, make sure the garage door is open. If you let your vehicle run in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide may accumulate and cause harm to nearby people and animals.

Second, be cautious about your speed. In the winter, speed equals conditions. If the road conditions are icy and visibility is poor, drive below the designated speed limit and be extra careful on curves.

Third, keep an emergency kit in your trunk. Cars are especially susceptible to spinning out and breaking down in the winter. This could leave you stranded alone for hours. To be safe, stock up on nonperishable foods and warm winter clothes. Partially drain a few bottles of water to prevent them from bursting. Keep a bag of kitty litter and sprinkle it to help your tires gain traction if you hit a slippery ditch.

No season quite matches the majesty of winter, but with its beauty comes its perils. Prepare yourself by following these three safety tips. You’ll save yourself dollars, spare yourself potential harm, and give yourself peace of mind that will allow you to enjoy the winter wonderland around you.