Last Sunday the first snow fell throughout the UK even before winter official start and caused travel disruption among other issues. Loads of flights were delayed and cancelled and mine was one of those: I was stranded on a plane for more than 3 hours waiting for its wings to be defrosted before departing. You may not have experienced the same but snow can cause other disruptions in our home and routine, especially when we do not prepare for it.
You can take several measures to warm and improve winter comfort in your home, such as reducing air leakage, checking home insulation, draught proofing your windows and installing insulating curtains. Besides these, there are 3 other actions you can take to prepare your home for any more snow this winter.
1. Check pipes and roof
Make sure your roof guttering and downpipe system is completely cleaned and cleared. Snow and frozen water can accumulate on it and it will be very hard to find the exact blockage spot until temperatures warm up again and all ice melts. Because water expands when frozen, frosting and defrosting can damage your pipes and roof.
Don’t forget to check your roof now for any minor cracks and broken tiles which could be aggravated by frosting temperatures. By the end of winter, check your roof guttering and downpipe system and your roof for any damages and fix them as soon as possible to protect your home from rain and leaks. Snow and ice melting on your roof can make it slippery and dangerous so make sure it is safe before you access it.
2. Clear access and outside area
As you may know, salt is very efficient and largely used to clear roads and access routes from snow. However, it is not environment-friendly, accumulating on waterways and killing plants and animals. Besides the threat to living creatures, salt also corrodes a wide range of materials such as concrete and metals, damaging your property.
You can make your own eco-friendly ice melting solution to clear outdoor steps and access routes by mixing 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon of biodegradable dishwashing liquid in 2 litres of hot water and applying to the surfaces you desire to clear. This solution is eco-friendly and safe for your plants, pets and children. Sand and cat litter can also be used to create traction and make slippery surfaces safer.
3. Protect your plants
Don’t forget to bring in the plants that are more sensitive to cold weather and snow and cover those that can stay outside but might be hurt or damaged due to frosting conditions.
Even if frost doesn’t form when temperatures drop, water inside and outside the plants’ cells can form crystals, expand and burst organic structures, irreversibly damaging your plants. It is important to protect your garden according to the requirements of each species you have. For more details, read this article.
In addition to this, sweep snow off trees as accumulation may weaker branches and cause them to unexpectedly break. This can be highly dangerous to passers-by and pets.
Snow may not be usual in your area and for this reason, it can catch you by surprise this winter. Being unprepared can increase the level of disruption in your routine, affect your plants and pets and lead you to use solutions that are not eco-friendly. Use our 3 preparation tips before winter starts and Green It Yourself Now!