Being ready for the oncoming winter storms can put you way ahead of the season once the worst of the weather starts hitting. Even if you don't live in an area where you're likely to lose your car during an overnight snow fall, the hazards and obstacles presented by freezing temperatures can't be ignored. Taking steps to make sure you have the tools and supplies to deal with that on hand will help you avoid a tricky trip to the store when the flakes start to fly.
Ready Your Weapons!
In this case we're talking about shovels, plows and snow blowers, all of which have the same sources of wear to deal with. Tools you already have on hand should be free of rust, and any rust lingering from last season should be scraped away, sanded down or ground off to keep spreading to a minimum. You can prevent new rust from developing by applying a coat of rust resistant paint to surfaces likely to come in direct contact with the snow and ice. This can be especially important if your neighbors and city workers are likely to use sand or salt to keep surfaces clear.
Keep a supply of mineral oil or other non-toxic lubricant on hand, and apply it to the blade of your plow, shovel or blower. The oil will prevent ice from clinging to the surface and keep the blade from catching or sticking in damp snow. As an added benefit, this will also provide an extra layer of protection from potential corrosion from the salt, sand and water. Just remember to thoroughly dry your tools after each use.
Supplies for the Siege
For many homeowners, rock salt is a go-to answer for de-icing walkways, driveways and sidewalks, but there are some drawbacks to it. Salt corrodes metal, including storm drain grates and the underside of vehicles, not to mention the damage it will do to your dress shoes and your lawn. Instead, using a non-corrosive de-icing agent will help provide the same protection without causing damage to your lawn, your car, or your nice boots.
Avoid sodium chloride, the chemical name for table salt, as much as possible and focus on products that offer a "pet-friendly" option. Magnesium chloride hexahydrate and calcium magnesium acetate are two of the least damaging and least corrosive compounds available for de-icing. While no chemical de-icer is going to be harmless to the environment, these two are the most widely used and tend to be quite effective.
Gearing up for winter means getting ready to beat back the encroaching ice and snow. The right tools, supplies and preparations will ensure that you're able to do that with the least amount of work possible. Contact a business, such as Peel Landscape Depot sells landscape supplies, for more information.