Time To Winterize

Hey Riverside. Every year I send out this reminder to winterize your home/yard/car before winter settles in for good (or for bad depending on your outlook). My calendar reminds me about this time every year to send out the winterizing post so if you haven't already winterized here are a few ideas for you to consider (do NOT miss the part about removing hoses and quick connects from your hose bibs/spigots because that is a very expensive mistake to make).
If you're new to Alaska then maybe you don't know how important it is to winterize your home before the snow flies. Here are a few important things to do to make sure you're ready for a very long winter.
1. REMOVE ALL HOSES FROM EXTERIOR SPIGOTS (including any quick connects you might have attached to spigots- sorry to shout at your but this one is important and will save you some broken pipes and lots of damage). If you don't the pipes inside your home will freeze and might break which will cause a lot of mess, damage and sometimes even injury.
2. Make sure you've got a shovel and some ice melt on hand (they will both sell out with the first snow). IF YOU'VE GOT A WOODEN DECK MAKE SURE THE SHOVEL ISN'T METAL AND THAT YOUR PLASTIC SHOVELS DON'T HAVE A METAL EDGE (again, sorry for shouting) or you'll be refinishing your deck next spring.
3. Make sure you've got your handy ice scraper in the car.
4. Pick up everything off the ground BEFORE it snows or you'll have a very tough time finding your stuff until next spring.
5. Move anything in the yard that you won't need til spring to a spot where it won't be in your way this winter. It's much easier to move things before it snows than it is after.
6. Think about your tires. Do you want to put winter tires on your car/truck? Lots of people don't but if you're new to winter driving it might be a really good idea. We put studded tires on every year since the first year we got here and I experienced what winter driving with summer tires was like. Let me tell you it was night and day. Can you get by without studded/Blizzak tires? Sure. Do studded/Blizzak tires make a difference. Yes. A huge difference.
7. If you have a garage and a spouse that barely tolerates the cold and dark of Alaska maybe consider clearing out enough space to park inside during the coldest months of the year. Scraping ice and snow off your car every day and driving every day in a car that never fully defrosts can become a big bummer over the course of 6 months. But getting into a warm car every day and maybe only having to scrape ice once a day (often not even that much) changes a person's outlook on living in Alaska. Just a thought- it made a huge difference for us.
8. If you've got a large area to shovel (like your driveway) it might be a good idea to buy a snowblower. How beefy a snowblower depends on how much area you have to clear. We've got a driveway about 17'X40' and I used to have a big, powerful gas powered Honda snowblower on tracks. For me it was overkill- so much so that I almost never bothered getting it out of the shed to clear snow unless we got over a foot (which doesn't happen very often). I traded in my beefy Honda snowblower for a cordless/battery operated Ego snowblower. It is not nearly as powerful as my old Honda but it is so much lighter and easier to handle and it handles my driveway no problem- even with wet/heavy snow.
If you can think of anything I've missed feel free to add it to the comments below.
Happy winter everybody!