We need to prepare for snow in winter before it becomes dangerous. Slippery surfaces, black ice, frozen and frosty exteriors accompany the unkindness of snow more often than not. Especially if the adverse weather conditions continue over a few days or longer and settled snow can become impacted as people step on it and vehicles drive over it.
Once reaching the freezing temperature, any water on the ground will solidify and form into slippery ice. This leads to icy patches and solid snow that is difficult to remove while temperatures remain below zero degrees °C. Combined with the snow and ice, this can become highly dangerous for people, animals or vehicles that come into contact. Therefore, we need to prepare for snow in winter in advance.
Five things you need to do to prepare for snow in winter
The good news is that plenty can be done ahead of any forecasted snow to help keep the slipping and sliding down and protect surfaces. From buying plenty of environmentally-safe ice melt to taking steps to prevent ice from forming, here are five ideas to help keep you, your pets and your belongings safer in the snow.
1. Get de-icer stocks in…
Finding an effective snow melter product that removes slippery surfaces without leaving harmful residues is significant in the fight against impacted snow this winter. Choosing a product that works down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C will ensure that any solid snow can be melted away, even in lower temperatures and during the night.
Get stocks in now, before demand rises as the snow arrives, weather conditions worsen, and other people suddenly realise they need to clear their surfaces too! An ice melt that can be put on the ground the night before is also a good choice, as it can help prevent the snow from solidifying in the first place, simply causing it to melt away harmlessly. It works via a chemical reaction that raises the temperature above the freezing point of water so that the ice and snow turn back into a liquid.
2. Find out which ones to choose
Always look for ice melt products that do not contain brown rock salt, sodium chloride ingredients or urea. All of these things are corrosive and can cause a great deal of harm to surfaces, vehicles, animal paws and people’s footwear as a result. Instead, choose a road salt that uses alternative, organically-derived ingredients to increase the temperature of water frozen on the surface to turn it back into liquid harmlessly.
A salt-free formula will mean that any residue from the product used to de-ice the road and clear the snow will not affect groundwater, ecosystems or surrounding wildlife. It will also keep pets’ paws and internal organs safe and protect people’s belongings than a more corrosive snow melting alternative that could damage.
3. People and pets preparations
Make sure that you have got plenty of warm layers to wrap up in when going outside, as well as sturdy boots or shoes with a good grip. You might also like to invest in a warm coat for your dog if you plan to walk it in the snow. Always steer clear of any areas that could have been treated with rock salt, as this can damage dogs’ paws if they walk on treated snow. Wash your boots, shoes and pets’ paws as soon as you get inside after a snow-laden walk.
Avoid going out if the weather conditions are too harsh. Examine the surfaces around your home to see whether de-icing is needed or protection with insulation while the snowy conditions are around. Repair any loose railings, fences or gates so that you can grab hold of them confidently if you feel yourself slipping on the snow.
4. Snow-proof your business
It’s not just domestic homes affected by settled snow and ice. Commercial premises must be kept clear of slippery hazards to protect staff, customers and visitors. Pay careful attention to keeping public areas such as car parks and open-air amenities free from snow. Melt ice that is clinging to railings, steps and ramps too.
Consider whether any especially hostile winter weather conditions, such as freezing fog, high winds or very dense snow, could mean that you should close your business temporarily until the dangers pass. If you are running an animal-based business, such as a veterinary surgeon, farm or stables, think about how you clear the snow and ice carefully to prevent further damage to livestock, pets and wildlife. Choose an animal-friendly, sustainable solution with a pet-safe de-icer that does not contain any rock salt.
5. Keep your vehicles safe
Finally, keeping cars, vans, bicycles, and other vehicles safe in the snow is essential for all kinds of reasons. A slippery surface covered in snow can lead to skidding and collisions that can be costly to repair. It is necessary to have a sufficient stock of de-icing products that prevents ice from forming on the surfaces and the vehicles themselves.
Spraying an ice melt onto the windscreen can clear frost and snow quickly and safely, while door locks and mirrors can also benefit from a professional, effective de-icer on a cold, sub-zero morning. Always keep your main de-icer stocks in the garage or shed and a smaller amount in the boot for easy access on the move.