In the first installment of this series, we took a look at a few ways in which you can make sure your home is ready for winter, inside and out. Now we’ll venture into the garage and how to make sure that it—and its contents—are ready for the next big freeze.
Make Sure You’re Snow-Blower Savvy
If you’re in the market for a snow blower, you already know that there are plenty of options on the market. If not, then we’re here to tell you that when you go shopping for a snow blower, you’ll be asked a couple of key questions. Gas or electric? Single- or two-stage? Single-stage blowers powered by either gas or electric essentially perform the same action. They include an auger, which functions to pick up snow and throw it. While a two-stage, gas snow blower also has an auger, it also includes an impeller. That impeller can come in handy if you regularly get upwards of 8 inches of snow in your area; otherwise, a two-stage snow blower may be overkill.
Get Your Snow Blower Ready for Snow
Whether you’ve purchased a new snow blower this year or you’re ready to get your blower out for another season, it’s time to take a look at that owner’s manual. If you have a gas-powered snow blower, make sure it’s filled with fresh gasoline, and check the tire pressure: trust us, you don’t want to have to do this the first day you have a big snow.
Get Car Tires Ready for Snowy Roads
Even with your snow blower ready for business, your car’s tires will have plenty of snow to deal with. Not only can winter precipitation make tires difficult, but cold winter temperatures can cause trouble on their own. You’ll want to check the tread on your tires to make sure they don’t have too much wear; if they do, they’ll make accelerating and braking difficult on icy roads. To check them on your own, use a Lincoln penny, and press Lincoln’s head into one of the tire tread grooves. As long as the tread obscures any part of the president’s head, you’re safe. You might also want to make sure you’re not overdue for wheel alignment and tire rotation.
An added issue relating to tires is to make sure they’re properly inflated. For every 10 degrees the temps outside drop, your tires will lose approximately 1 pound per square inch of pressure. The under-inflation that can easily result can lead to uneven tire wear as well as safety issues.
Take a Look at Snow Tires
Did you know that so-called “all-purpose tires” don’t handle as well during the winter, as they do during the other months? Standard tires can easily lose traction and become overly hard during cold temperatures, regardless of whether there’s snow to deal with. Snow tires can make a big difference. Snow tires help increase traction, especially on snowy, icy roads, thanks to their more aggressive tread pattern.