Helpful TipsWinter December 15, 2020

North Idaho Winter Driving

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 snowstorms!  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 your 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 snowplow, 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

Line of cars driving in snow

Know What to do in an Emergency:

  • 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 lose 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:
  • Schaffer’s Towing – (208)667-2330
  • Reliable Towing – (208)762-5151
  • Cole’s Automotive, Mobile Service, & Towing – (208) 83-3582
  • Al’s Towing – (208)265-8697
  • Coeur d’Alene Cab – (208) 667-9000
  • Collins Taxi(208) 704-0151

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.

 

Empty road with snow on the ground

Plan With Your Family:

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

~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

Best of CDACDA is AwesomeLife on the LakeOur Events!Our Great CityThings to Do and See in North IdahoWinter November 25, 2020

Eagle Watching

Bald eagles migrate each year and from November through February they visit us here in the Coeur d’Alene area. That’s due to the spawning kokanee and salmon in the lake that they feast on. These majestic creates are a marvel to watch and eagle watching is a great winter activity to do with your family.

Reasons To Eagle Watch

There are a million reasons to watch these marvelous birds as they hunt, nest and soar around the area. But here are just a few:

  1. Perfect Family Activity – People of every age enjoy watching these bald eagles. It’s a relaxing yearly activity you can do with your family and you are guaranteed to make forever memories.
  2. Educational Opportunity – You can learn so much about these birds just by watching them. And you can do some research before heading out and teach your children about why they’re here, what they feed on and their importance to North Idaho
  3.  Great Outside Time – During these winter months we tend to spend too much time inside, especially during this time of COVID. Eagle watching is a great opportunity to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and there’s plenty of room for social distancing.

 

Places to Eagle Watch

If you’d like to head out and find a place to spend to watch the eagles outside, there are 3 great places to go:

Higgins Point Address: N Idaho Centennial Trail, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp Address: 7608-7322, ID-97, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Mineral Ridge Trailhead Address: 9200 ID-97, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Lake Coeur d’Alene also offers 2 hour cruises with cruise boats that are heated so you can stay warm.

Lake Coeur d’Alene Eagle Watching Cruises – Check out the details by clicking here.

 

Eagle Watching Etiquette

Eagles are wild animals, so a human presence can stress the birds. Here are a few tips when eagle watching:

  • If watching from the roadside viewing location, stay in or near your vehicle.
  • Avoid loud noises
  • Use binoculars or spotting scope rather than trying to get closer
  • Don’t do something to try to make the eagles fly

Since eagle watching will occur mostly in the winter time and if you plan to view the eagles from outside, keep the following in mind:

  • Pull completely off the road
  • Park in designated parking areas
  • Be prepared for snow, ice & mud
  • Dress for the extreme cold, including any possible wind chill
  • Bring hot drinks and snacks

 

 

Safely and politely enjoy watching our friendly visitors over the next few months, before they’re gone!!

 

Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Delaware Highlands Conservancy, CDA Resort 

Helpful TipsHome & ProjectsWinter November 19, 2020

Away For The Winter? Keep Your Home Safe

If you head south for the winter, whether it just for a week on vacation or for the entire season, be sure your home is protected. A vacant home can be a target for thieves, damage or system malfunctions. Take these steps to safeguard your home.

 

Protect Your Home From…

1. Water Damagegray Nest thermostat displaying at 63

A burst pipe can cause significant damage if you are away for a long period of time. The first option is to completely turn off your water supply. Be sure to drain your pipes of all its water by opening the faucets and flushing the toilets. Think about pouring antifreeze into your toilets to avoid any remaining water from freezing.

The second option is to not drain your pipes but to keep your furnace running to avoid pipes from freezing. Keep the temperature to 55 degrees or higher to keep the floor and wall cavities, where the pipes are located, warm enough. Open cabinet doors open to keep the warm air circulating. If you’d like to be extra safe, you can add extra insulation around your pipes.

Shut the water off to your washing machine and dishwasher to avoid any leaks. Shut off and drain your outside water sources to avoid freezing. Additionally, turn off the heat source and water supply to your water heater.

 

2. Pests

Start by cleaning your home thoroughly to discourage pests. Then, move to your fridges and freezers. Throw out any food not in an airtight container. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, empty, clean & defrost your fridges and freezers. Leave the doors open to avoid mildew. Next, inspect your home, inside & out, including the foundation to ensure there aren’t any holes unwanted guests to enter. If you find one, seal it up. Chimneys and fireplaces are two important places you’ll need to get inspected.

 

3. Fires

Unplug any unnecessary appliances such as TVs, coffee makers, and ant small appliances to avoid any electrical fires or power surges. Consider having a licensed professional inspect your electrical panel, wiring and outlets and repair anything defective.

 

men's gray pullover hooded jacket4. Thieves

Avoid your home from looking unoccupied by having your mail forwarded or picked up. Hire somebody to shovel the snow from your driveway. Put your interior and exterior lighting on censors & timers and turn them on at varying times. Test your security system to confirm it’s in working order prior to your departure. Download an app to connect to your security system to monitor any changes while away. Secure your doors and windows with deadbolt locks. Create an inventory of your valuables or store them in a safe deposit box in case of a robbery or accident. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property, to watch for any suspicious activity, pick up anything on your deck and park their car in your driveway every now and then. And lastly, don’t advertise your travels on social media and wait to post any pictures until you’ve returned.

 

Have fun while you’re away and don’t worry about what’s going on at your home since you’ve already taken care of it!

 

Credit: StateFarm, Travelers

Helpful TipsHome & ProjectsWinter November 16, 2020

Don’t Forget! Top 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks

As a homeowner, you likely already have a checklist of items you need to complete before the snow stays. But, there are a few items that you may have forgotten about. Don’t let these items go unchecked or you may have unnecessary headache and expense in the future. Below are 6 tasks that should be completed but many homeowners overlook.

Note: If you do not have a checklist of home maintenance before winter, take a look at ours here!

1. Drain Gasoline and Oil From Your Yard Equipment

Mowing your lawn may be the last thing on your mind right now. But, to ensure your power equipment still runs in tip top shape next year, drain the remaining gas and oil out. If gasoline or oil sits too long it could cause changes in the chemical composition which could lead to a number of problems. Read about how gas can go bad and how to identify it here.

Image result for clean weep hole"

 

2. Clean Your Window Weep Holes

There are many windows that have weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. Their purpose is to drain any water that collects in the frame’s bottom channel. But often times they get clogged with bugs or debris of some kind which could then spill into your house. First, test the weep hole by pouring water into the track. If it doesn’t steadily drain out, there is likely a clog. If that is the case, you could spray it out with compressed air or poke a wire hanger into the hole.

 

3. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

You should drain some of the water from your water heater every year otherwise sediment will collect at the bottom. With gas powered water heaters, this will cause hot spots that will damage the tank. With electric powered heaters, it could cause the lower heating elements to fail. So draining it once yearly will not only extend the water heaters life but also save you money on your energy bills.

 

4. Clean Dryer Vents

If your dryer vent is plugged, it could cause your dryer to run inefficiently or even cause a house fire. Before winter arrives, be sure to clean out your vent to prevent that from happening. It may not always be lint that causes the backup, there may be pests nesting or stuck exhaust hood flappers could also be the culprit. Each year, take the vent off the back of your dryer and clean it. You could get any debris out with a wet/dry vac or use a cleaning kit that can be purchased at home centers. Inspect your exhaust hood flappers to ensure they are in proper working order as well.

 

5. Check For High Water Pressure

High water pressure can cause issues with pipes, connections and appliances not to mention it wastes water. It is very easy to test to pressure, you just need to purchase a pressure gauge that hooks up to spigot or tub faucet. If the pressure is too high, just change the pressure reducing valve.

 

Image result for test sump pump"

6. Test Sump Pump

It’s best to test you sump pump twice a year to avoid your home flooding. It is very simple to test it, you just need to dump water into the basin to make sure it’s working. And be sure your pump has a vertical float switch.

 

 

 

Consider adding the above tasks to your winterizing checklist to help with any possible issues that may arise over the winter season.

Credit: Family Handyman, Do It Yourself 

Helpful TipsHome & ProjectsWinter December 3, 2019

Don’t Forget! Top 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks

As a homeowner, you likely already have a checklist of items you need to complete before the snow stays. But, there are a few items that you may have forgotten about. Don’t let these items go unchecked or you may have unnecessary headache and expense in the future. Below are 6 tasks that should be completed but many homeowners overlook.

Note: If you do not have a checklist of home maintenance before winter, take a look at ours here!

1. Drain Gasoline and Oil From Your Yard Equipment

Mowing your lawn may be the last thing on your mind right now. But, to ensure your power equipment still runs in tip top shape next year, drain the remaining gas and oil out. If gasoline or oil sits too long it could cause changes in the chemical composition which could lead to a number of problems. Read about how gas can go bad and how to identify it here.

 

Image result for clean weep hole"

2. Clean Your Window Weep Holes

There are many windows that have weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. Their purpose is to drain any water that collects in the frame’s bottom channel. But often times they get clogged with bugs or debris of some kind which could then spill into your house. First, test the weep hole by pouring water into the track. If it doesn’t steadily drain out, there is likely a clog. If that is the case, you could spray it out with compressed air or poke a wire hanger into the hole.

 

 

3. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

You should drain some of the water from your water heater every year otherwise sediment will collect at the bottom. With gas powered water heaters, this will cause hot spots that will damage the tank. With electric powered heaters, it could cause the lower heating elements to fail. So draining it once yearly will not only extend the water heaters life but also save you money on your energy bills.

 

4. Clean Dryer Vents

If your dryer vent is plugged, it could cause your dryer to run inefficiently or even cause a house fire. Before winter arrives, be sure to clean out your vent to prevent that from happening. It may not always be lint that causes the backup, there may be pests nesting or stuck exhaust hood flappers could also be the culprit. Each year, take the vent off the back of your dryer and clean it. You could get any debris out with a wet/dry vac or use a cleaning kit that can be purchased at home centers. Inspect your exhaust hood flappers to ensure they are in proper working order as well.

 

5. Check For High Water Pressure

High water pressure can cause issues with pipes, connections and appliances not to mention it wastes water. It is very easy to test to pressure, you just need to purchase a pressure gauge that hooks up to spigot or tub faucet. If the pressure is too high, just change the pressure reducing valve.

 

Image result for test sump pump"

6. Test Sump Pump

It’s best to test you sump pump twice a year to avoid your home flooding. It is very simple to test it, you just need to dump water into the basin to make sure it’s working. And be sure your pump has a vertical float switch.

 

 

 

Consider adding the above tasks to your winterizing checklist to help with any possible issues that may arise over the winter season.

 

Credit: Family Handyman, Do It Yourself 

Helpful TipsWinter October 25, 2019

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

Helpful TipsWinter November 21, 2018

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

………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………..

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 https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm

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