According to accuweather.com, the winter for 2016-2017 is going to be harsh, especially for the Northeast and eventually across the entire northern United States.

The bitter  old and heavy weight of snow and frozen rain can have a negative effect on many elements of both your home and car. Not all the repercussions of cold weather are straightforward or necessarily noticeable, so we’ve compiled a list of tips so that you can enjoy the winter and not stress about the cold weather and its potential consequences.

Home:

While most houses have central heating systems and are overall well-protected, door frames and windows are usually the weak spots for the cold getting into your house and causing problems. Wooden frames especially can be finicky because wood shrinks or expands depending on the temperature. (ADD MORE)

  • Install weather stripping around all doors and windows, and caulk any gaps in the wall or floorboards. This way, moisture can’t seep in through the thin openings on the sides of the frame.
  • If the windows or doors are thin, add a tarp or an extra layer of insulation that can be removed after the season is over.
  • Replace screen doors with storm windows so you are not met with a draft every time you open the front door.
  • Clean any outside gutters and pipes before winter begins so a build up of leaves or old water does not prevent moisture from flowing out.
  • Regulate your thermostat. Try to keep your house at a consistent temperature, and one that is not too extreme, as well.
  • Check the tree limbs closest to your house. The weight of ice and snow can cause some dead limbs to collapse. If the tree is close enough to your house, the branch can come right through the roof or window.

 

Car:

Even though you might drive your car everyday and think the internal heat will protect your car engine, a lot of problems can be caused in your car, especially if the temperatures dip below freezing at night when your car is naturally exposed to the elements. These problems include frozen locks, heavy layers of ice on the windshield, or frozen engine fluids like oil or coolant.

  • Make sure the liquids in your car are the right ratio so that they will not freeze in cold temperatures.
  • Always make sure you have a way to clear off the windows, whether it be windshield wiper fluid and/or a scraper, in order to maintain a safe level of visibility.
  • If your car does not have 4-wheel drive, and you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, consider investing in snow tires or at least removable chains to make it through tough weather.
  • For metal car door locks, covering the lock with a magnet over night can help, or periodically coating the key with petroleum jelly and distributing it evenly throughout the lock.
  • If the lock is already frozen over, use de-icer spray. Make sure that whichever spray you decide to use is not water-based, because that will be counter-productive to the purpose of de-icing the lock.
  • Don’t let your gas gauge go down to empty, or even to less than ¼ full. Gasoline can also expand in cold and give a false reading to the gas gauge of how full your tank actually is.

 

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In the case of an emergency:

The biggest threat from freezing temperatures is the loss of power. With the loss of power comes a lack of heat, refrigeration, and depending on your type of stove, possibly a lack of ways to cook or warm food.
What should you keep in an emergency kit, either for your home or car? Here are some suggestions:

  • Candles/flares/flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Radio
  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets
  • De-icer for frozen locks (both car and home locks)

The winter season brings a lot of nice things along with it-school vacations, holidays, family get-togethers. Don’t let the nasty side effects of the weather deter you from enjoying this time of year.

If your locks do suffer damage from the winter, be sure to call Get Locksmith at :phone: and we’ll come help you get back into your home or car safely.

Check out this article for more tips to protect your house from harsh winter weather.

Here are more tips to protect your car.