Let it Snow: Getting Ready for Winter

If you’re living in Calgary – there’s one thing you can count on this winter: We never know how cold it will be or how much snow we’re going to get. Our winters can bring us everything from warm chinooks to a huge blizzard and yet the city never stops.

Living with Calgary weather has turned us into over-preparers, and at Budget Storage Calgary, we think you should take that one step further and prepare for a tough winter after having been pampered during last years milder temperatures Best idea is to get prepared before the onslaught of snow begins. That’s why we’re sharing information on what winter snow and ice tools you should be pulling out of self storage and storing in your home, along with what situations they’re best used for.


Winter Tires

As we approach November, when temperatures in the morning will be just above freezing, you can bet that the pavement will be very cold. Winter tires have rubber compounds formulated to stay soft and pliable for better traction in cold weather. Using winter tires will ensure better traction and you will be less sliding around a lot less. If you haven't already put on your winter tires now is a good time to do it.

Have no place to store your tires? Budget Storage offers a range of storage unit sizes so it gives you the option to keep smaller seasonal items in one of our mini units and then switch them out when they're required.


Shovels

You’ll want at least two kinds of shovels.

1. The first can be a simple, smaller shovel to handle little stoops or patios that would make a large shovel difficult to use.
2. The second shovel you will want is both a “pusher” and “shovel” combined into one. Ensure it has a foot step to really leverage heavy amounts of snow. If you can find one that is also reversible, it may be able to take the place of your small shovel, as they’re often able to get into tight spaces.

If you’re unable to physically shovel snow, then a power shovel can take the place of your pusher shovel. It’s much less expensive than a snow blower, and electric versions require no gas and oil; just plug it in and start pushing. Many versions will clear hundreds of pounds of snow in mere minutes. This type of shovel would be best for patios, sidewalks and decks. For bigger jobs, you’ll need bigger tools.

When it’s Time to Use a Snow Blower

If you have a standard two-car driveway, then an 18-inch electric snow blower will work great for your needs. It’s big enough to handle your driveway, yet small enough to use on a walkway. This kind of tool is best used when the snow falls in double-digit inches, so 10 inches or more. The higher the AMP rating, the deeper snow it can handle. Many of these snow blowers also come with scrapers that will get the compacted snow at the bottom. By getting an electric version, you don’t have to keep filling it up with gas and oil, and it starts with the simple push of a button.


Ice Tools

In Calgary, one word can strike fear into the hearts of residents: Ice. We’ve had our fair share of terrible ice storms, ones that shut down the city and send those who brave it sliding across the roads. But at some point, life has to go back to normal. Plus, you want to ensure you and your family’s safety when traversing your own front yard. That’s where these important tools for handling ice come in.

De-Icer: While not highly recommended because of tendency to pollute with chemicals and heavy metals (not to mention damaging your yard and plants), for severe situations when inches of ice are threatening to fall from the skies, deicer may be a good option. Choose calcium-based rock salt, and remember that a little goes a long way. Just don’t forget to clean it up when the job’s done. Note: salt loses its effectiveness when the ambient temperature is -13 to -15 C.

Sand: This material can help provide traction when walking on ice. If you choose a dark-colored sand, it has the added benefit of attracting the sun, which will speed up the melting process.

Snow-Melt Mats: If you have stairs leading up to your home, those are the most dangerous steps to take when covered in ice. A great option is installing snow melt mats designed for stairs, which can be found in many places online. You’ll need an extension cord and access to a plug, so it’s best if you can siphon the extension cord into your garage. Many of these mats are also designed for walkways, so you can lay them out together and often times plug it into the same outlet. This is also a great tool for snow storms.

With all of these tools on hand, you can handle any snow or ice storm we get this year. You’ll keep yourself and your family safe, and your home in top condition. We all know that in Calgary April and even June can often bring one last burst of frigid snow fall, so keep your tools close by until then. Once it clears up, you can bring your tools back to your storage unit at Budget Storage and free up space in your home for something even better: gardening and lawn care tools. Until then, stay safe and happy holidays!

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