It may feel cold in Texas right now, but in other areas of the country things are far more frigid. Moving from a warm state to a colder location can be a big lifestyle change that requires a totally different way of maintaining your car, yard and home. Here’s what you need to know when making a move to a colder state.
Car Maintenance in Cold Weather
Extreme temps can do a number on vehicles. Sometimes regular maintenance isn’t enough to fight off the freezing cold and keep your car running smoothly, not to mention handling the vehicle when you’re already on the road. Before heading to a colder location make sure you car is ready for the trip.
Antifreeze – When it’s colder outside there is less need for coolant to keep the engine from overheating. Consult your car manual first, but if there’s nothing specifically stated a mixture of 60% ethylene glycol coolant and 40% water should work.
Tires – The rubber that meets the road has the biggest impact on how well you handle the snow and ice. Reference your car manual to see which types of tires are suggested for a colder climate. Specialized winter tires are best, but all-season tires are also a viable option.
Oil Change – The thinner the oil the better when it’s cold outside. Before moving, consider changing your oil and using 5W-30.
Battery – The cold can make a battery act up if it isn’t in decent condition. Test the battery to make sure the charge is good, fluid levels are where they need to be and the terminals and wiring are fine.
De-icing Your Windshield – Make sure you top off your windshield washer fluid with a solution that includes antifreeze. You’ll also want to keep an ice scraper handy.
Dealing with Ice and Snow Outside
Slippery Walkways – All it takes is one step on an iced-over walkway to solidify the importance of ice melt, or rock salt as it’s commonly called. It’s a product that is rarely seen on shelves in Central Texas, but in colder regions ice melt is kept in ready supply. Consumer Reports created a great breakdown of the best rock salt on the market.
Shoveling Snow – You may have a regular shovel, but it isn’t made for the snow. One of the first investments you should make is a snow shovel. There are a variety of snow shovels, but they all have a signature rectangular-shaped scooper. Look for a snow shovel that has a rigid, steel edge scooper that’s lightweight with an ergonomic handle.
Maintenance on Homes in Cold Weather
Roof – The roof is one of the most vulnerable spots of your home during the winter. Heavy snow and uneven insulation can lead to what’s known as an ice dam around the eaves. These ice dams can cause a whole host of problems like water backups and damaged shingles. Heated cabling can be lined around the edge of the roof line to keep it warm and prevent ice dams from forming.
Clearing Icicles – Heated cabling can prevent icicles from forming, but if you don’t have it installed before the icicles develop it’s important to take action. Icicles can damage your roof and possibly injure someone. There are several ways to safely remove icicles, including a long-handled rake and chemical deicer.
Heating – If the home was vacant then the heating systems may not be set up or it may not be running on all cylinders. Heating is important not only because it keeps you comfortable, but also because it protects piping, the roof and other structural elements from getting damaged. Make sure you know how the furnace and water heater work, turn the furnace up to at least the high 50s and consider getting a backup wood furnace.
Stock Up on Warm Throws – There’s always one surefire way to keep warm indoors or outdoors – bundle up. Keep your throws and blankets handy so that as soon as you move in they are ready to use.
Fireplace Supplies – If you have an operable fireplace it can be a great way to keep your living areas warm without running up the heating bill. In addition to firewood, make sure you have a fireplace cover or door, grate, poker, etc.
Moving out of Texas and into a cold climate is a whole lot easier when you’ve got the help of a few good pros. The team at Square Cow Movers helps people move in, out and around Texas everyday. Use our online form for an instant moving quote or give us a call to learn more about our moving services.