Ice Management Tricks for Your Home

What does “winterizing” mean to you? For many, the term evokes images of topping up the antifreeze in the car, making sure pets are warm and safe, or addressing drafts that blow in through the windows and doors. But while you’re dealing with all those things, don’t forget to put up a fight against ice accumulation! Let’s look at some helpful tips and tricks for keeping ice at bay.

Gathering Your Tools

You don’t want to be trapped in your house due to dangerously slippery ice on the sidewalks, unable even to get to the store and purchase ice-fighting gear, so go get those tools and equipment before the weather turns foul. Start by laying in a generous supply of de-icing material to spread on your front stoop and driveway. Make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel on hand for scraping melted precipitation and any stubborn ice deposits away from the pavement. (Avoid the use of ice picks or other hand-held tools that might cause serious injury.) Last but certainly not least, purchase warm thermal gloves and socks so you can get outdoors to fight the ice without doing serious frost damage to your extremities.

De-icing Walkways

Salt is the traditional substance used to de-ice roadways and sidewalks, but you’d be better off using something else, at least if you care about your property. The minerals in road salts can kill your plants and lawn while also harming the walkway itself. Fortunately, you can melt that layer of ice with such ordinary materials as sand, beet juice, kitty litter, or a urea-rich fertilizer. But once you’ve managed to reduce the ice to slush, make sure to remove it immediately so it can’t re-freeze into an even more dangerous sheet.

Wrapping Pipes

Listen to your local weatherman’s warnings — when freezing temperatures are on their way, it’s time to wrap your plumbing pipes. Ice that collects in pipes overnight can lead to a small flood in your home the next morning when you turn the faucet tap and the pipes burst under the pressure. You can use foam insulation, heating tape, or a combination of both to wrap your pipes so they’ll stay above freezing. Help the process along by opening cabinet doors (so warmer air can get to them), keeping your thermostat at 65 degrees, and doing whatever you can to keep the garage or basement from getting too cold.

Protecting Roofs and Gutters

Ice wreaks havoc on roofs, mainly by blocking off your gutters and making them unable to accept runoff. This causes the ice to pile up on the roof into ice dams, wrecking the shingles and other structural components — and when the ice finally does melt, all that water may go straight through the roof and into your home. The smartest way to combat this problem is to prevent it altogether, and the easiest way to do that is by installing a heated gutter guard. The Moonworks Gutter Helmet, for instance, maintains a constant temperature that prevents ice dams from forming and causing lasting damage to your gutters and rooftop.

Be prepared, take an active role in protecting your home from ice, and you’re sure to have a happier and safer winter. Moonworks professionals are here to help, you can contact us here, or you can call Moonworks at 1-800-975-6666.

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