Keep Your Home Ice-Free This Winter

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Seattle saw its first seasonal ‘snow’ this week. Flakes didn’t fall or accumulate everywhere, but temperatures dipped below freezing. Welcome to the season of de-icing.

We all know the feeling: time gets away from you in the morning, you rush outside and almost slip as you finally make it to your car, and it’s coated in an invisible but ridiculously strong layer of ice. You don’t see the ice on your windshield until you get in and it starts fogging up. You grab your scraper and get to work, wait another few minutes for the car to warm up… and finally, you can begin your drive.

De-icing the car is never fun, but it’s necessary if you’re going to safely make it to your destination. But what about your home? Shouldn’t you de-ice that, too? You spend at least half your life in it, so it’s essential to protect it from the elements.

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A little home maintenance can go a long way. There are countless ice melting sprays, liquids, etc. Here’s a shortlist of some of the best methods.

Think Ahead for a Clear Driveway

Stop ice before it starts, and pre-treat your walkways and driveway with de-icer before the storm. This makes it easier to place the de-icer on just the pavement. If it’s already snowed, you’ll have to shovel first; ice melt will not work on top of snow. Avoid standard rock salt, which can damage pavement, and try these environmentally friendly options instead:

  • Calcium Magnesium Acetate
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Magnesium Chloride

Tip: mixing sand with your de-icer adds traction and may help prevent falls.

Consider Driveway Heating

Ever thought of installing a radiant heat system under your driveway? If you already have a smart home, this is just an added bonus, and if you ever sell your home, it’s a perk that buyers will appreciate.

Prevent Ice Dams on The Roof

Icicles look cool hanging from the roof, but they’re a telltale sign of an ice dam. Ice dams are extremely damaging and can lead to leaks. Keep snow off the roof as much as possible by using a roof rake. If it’s too late and lingering snow has already frozen into an ice dam, calcium chloride ice melt may do the trick. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to break an ice dam yourself! If all else fails, hire a pro.

Keep Windows Free of Moisture

It’s humid in the Pacific Northwest, and the temperature occasionally falls low enough to form ice on windows. Avoid damaging dampness and increase ventilation with these tips:

  • Use a dehumidifier
  • Turn on exhaust fans every day to expel excess moisture
  • Open curtains and blinds
  • Increase the heat
  • If at all possible, keep the windows cracked

WHAT’S YOUR
HANDYMAN IQ?

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