North Idaho Winter Driving Preparation

Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter. With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms!  Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful. Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the winter driving preparation tips below to help avoid winter sneaking up on you and those you love.

 

Preparation Tips for Winter:

 

Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:

~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers

~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW

 

Know How to Drive in the Snow and Ice

~ Start you vehicle early and scrape your windows each morning before heading out. It will ensure you will have a clear view of the roadway and keep you warm

~ Be smooth and slow in steering, breaking and accelerating. If you move the tires too quickly, they don’t have time to respond and you will end up sliding.

car on snowy road surrounded of green trees

~ Drive for the conditions – that means drive slower, accelerate slower, don’t stop if you can avoid it since accelerating back up may be difficult and leave additional room between you and the vehicle in front of you (Keep in mind that the larger the vehicle the longer it will take for it to stop)

~ Do not use cruise control because if your car skids or hydroplanes it accelerates to maintain the vehicles speed which will make it very difficult to remain in control of your vehicle.

~ Accelerate from a stop in 2nd gear because there is less torque and you’re less likely to spin the tire.

~ Know how to handle a hill, do not power up the hill or stop on your way up.

~ Drive in the snow pack next to the road to get more traction if the road is too icy

~ Remember that all-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles do not stop faster or steer better on ice

~ Slow down when you approach intersections, off-ramps, bridges or anything that looks like it may be icy or where you will need to stop

~ If you end up behind a snow plow, slow down and give the plow extra room

~ Chain-up and removal areas are often where people are out of their vehicles so be sure to slow down and be vigilant in those areas

Practice driving in parking lots to learn how to handle your vehicle in a slide and get to know your breaks, that will help

tremendously in a real world situation

 

Have Basic Winter Survival Kit & Basic Winter Travel Gear in Your Vehicle:

~ You never know what you will run into when you drive away from your home each winter morning, so it’s best to always be prepared. The checklist below will make sure you have everything you need.

What to Keep in Your Car – Checklist

 

Know What to do in an Emergency:

Line of cars driving in snow

~ If you start to slide, first thing to do is stay calm! Avoid sudden movements. Do not turn your tires quickly, accelerate or break suddenly, it can cause you to loose traction. Look where you want to go and steer that direction. If you start

heading off the road, steer towards things that will cause the least amount of damage, such as an empty field or yard.

~ Find a roadside assistance company and plan that works for you. Check with your insurance provider and see if it’s comes with your plan or any possible discounts. Don’t forget to renew the policy! Many individuals let it expire and forget about it until it’s needed.

~ There may be a situation where you are stranded, maybe your vehicle broke down or you’ve slide off the road, and you need a tow truck or a ride. It’s good to have phone numbers saved in your phone in case you are at a location where you can’t access the internet. Below is a small list of tow companies and ride options in our area:

Note: Often with ridesharing options, such as Lyft and Uber, you must sign up and create an account to use their service. If you haven’t already, it would be a good idea for sign up for one so you have another ride option.

 

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:

~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank because condensation can form in the empty portion of the gas tank. In cold weather, that condensation will freeze then collect into icy blockages in your lines and make it difficult to start your vehicle.

 

Plan With Your Family:

~ Create a plan that works well with your family in case an emergency happens, especially if you have younger drivers

Empty road with snow on the ground

~ Go over it each year before the snow falls

 

Stay Informed:

~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages. Most local stations in your area will have weather alerts, but if you’re specifically looking for a weather channel, click here to find one in your area.

~ Check the weather frequently so you are prepared for its arrival

 

Check Your Tires:

~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm

~ Have the correct type of tires for the weather

~ Check tire pressure during cold weather. To do so, first find out what the recommended pressure is. Then after your tires have cooled, press the tire gauge directly into the tire vulvae and hold firmly (You should hear no air coming out). Based on what the gauge says, you could either release some air, add some or leave it. Check it frequently though winter.

 

Check out this video for additional recommendations and visuals to help with the tips listed above:

 

Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:

Get Ready for Freezing Temperatures & Snowfall

Get Ready for Winter Weather Driving

 

AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!

 

 

Sources: Washington State Dept of Transportation, Take the Winter by Storm, US Forest Service, Osceola Garage, Your Mechanic

Posted on October 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Maintenance

Home Maintenance for Fall/Winter

 

 

The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest.  Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.

 

The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.

 

For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!

 

Image result for changing filter in heating system Image result for cleaning out gutters

What to do

Why

Clean gutters and downspouts throughout fall         A build up of leaves and other debris could lead to wood rot, pest issues, and ruined gutters.
Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows & doors         Removing screens stop snow from getting trapped between the window and screen. That avoids damage to the sill and frame as well as lets in more light. Installing storm windows & doors helps keep your home insulated through the cold months.
Replace the filter in your furnace This helps the lifespan of your heater, reduces energy bills and improves air quality.
Flush and insulate your hot water tank Flushing removes sediment which in turn could extend the life of your tank. Insulating can help conserve energy, in turn saving you money.
Place a sheet of plywood held down by a few bricks on top and your AC, not a waterproof cover    Plywood can stop falling icicles and other debris which in turn would cause damage to the unit. Waterproof covers creates a warm environment for unwanted guests to stay for the winter.
Trim limps that are close to power lines or the  roof of your home Avoids heavy snow/ice building up causing damage.
Image result for pruning trees and shrubs in fall Image result for air conditioners in the winter

 

For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!

 

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Preparation for Winter Driving and Snow

Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter.  

With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms!   Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful. 

Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the below tips to help avoid winter from sneaking up on you and those you love.

 

 

Preparation Tips for Successfully Surviving the Winter:

 

Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:

~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers ~

~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW ~

Keep a Basic Winter Survival Kit in Your Vehicle:

~ Flashlight ~ Batteries ~ Blanket ~ Snacks ~

Water ~ Gloves ~ Boots ~ First-aid kit ~

Load Your Car with Basic Travel Gear:

~ Tire chains ~ Ice scraper/snowbrush ~ Jumper cables ~ Road flares ~

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:

~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank ~

Plan With Your Family

~ Create a plan that works well with your family ~

~ Practice it each year before the snow falls ~

Stay Informed:

~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages ~

~ Know the weather approaching so you are prepared for its arrival ~

Check Your Tires:

~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm ~

~ Check tire pressure during cold weather ~

Image result for winter driving

………………………………………………………………..

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Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:

Get Ready for Freezing Temperatures & Snowfall

Get Ready for Winter Weather Driving

…………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Sources:

Washington State Dept of Transportation https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm

Take the Winter by Storm https://takewinterbystorm.org/

Posted on November 21, 2018 at 12:21 am
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,