6 spring weather hacks for your home and car

Whether you live in Toronto or Calgary, the word “unpredictable” comes to mind when talking about the weather. Although the first day of spring is March 20th, Canadian winter weather sticks around later each year. You know that time of year when there’s heavy rainfall that sometimes turns into freezing rain, or when one day there’s 10cm of snow, followed by a sunny, mild day? It makes it hard to know how to maintain and protect your home and your car. Here are 6 tips to help manage the ups and downs of Canadian weather.

Tips for your car:
1. Keep a traction aid on hand for slushy weather

Snowfall and mild weather create a lot of slush on the roads, making for slick driving conditions. When there’s more moisture creating slushy roads, there’s also more mud. To help with this, always keep a traction aid (such as a piece of carpet, kitty litter, or sand) in your car. It’ll save you if you ever get stuck in thick, muddy slush in a parking lot or in your driveway.

2. Keep your winter tires on

A few provinces recommend/require that you keep them on until March (March 15th in Quebec, to be exact) but it’s possible that you can see snowfall in April. In that case, stay aware of weather patterns in your area – if the temperature outside reaches above 7 degrees celcius, you should be good to remove them.

3. Be prepared for freezing rain or black ice

When there’s a mix of lingering winter weather and April showers, we get freezing rain. Letting your car warm up in the morning is the easiest way to melt the ice that freezes over your windows and handles. While you’re on the road, be cautious of hidden black ice and drive slow. If you find yourself slipping, try and keep your car pointed in the direction you want to go.

Tips for your home:
1. De-ice your walkway and driveway

Try putting salt down on your driveway and walkway before a freezing rain storm, that way it has a harder time freezing and turning your driveway into a skating rink.

2. Prevent floods

With milder days comes more moisture, so it’s important to maintain your property’s drainage to prevent any flooding. To keep your home dry, walk around your house and look for cracks in your foundation, where snow that stacks up against your house can melt into. As well, be sure to shovel any snow that collects around your basement windows.*

3. Wait to turn on outdoor water connections

It might feel like it’s okay to turn on any outdoor water lines – like your hose or sprinkler systems – but you want to wait and make sure the temperature won’t drop back down to below 0 degrees celcius. This might cause your pipes to freeze, which isn’t a great way to start the spring season.

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