How to Prepare Your House and Car for Cold Weather

Daniel Crichlow
Written on September 17, 2018

We’ve all been in a situation where the elements are ripping into us, and making life miserable. All we can do is think about getting into our nice warm car to find a small haven from terrible mother nature, only to hear the most nightmarish sound imaginable… silence. Your car won’t start. Now you’re faced with two realities, fight the bitter cold and ravaging wind to the bus stop, or wait and pray that your car eventually works; and you don’t freeze by the time it does. But wait! This was just a dream. You prepared not only your car but your home as well for this frozen tundra called Indiana in winter. Here are the 5 things you did that everyone should do to make sure they are prepared.

1. Ensure your battery will allow your car to start everytime.

Your battery comes with a CCA rating – Cold Cranking Amps. This number represents how many amps the battery will put out at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If your battery is small and doesn’t put out enough CCA during winter, it may not start well. Ask your mechanic if your current battery is well suited for winter starting.

2. Check your coolant system to make sure all is running smoothly.

Having the right coolant levels in your car is not just for when the weather is hot, and your car wants to run at a high temperature. Coolant, also known as anti-freeze helps your engine stay fluid, and not freeze up. A major problem people encounter when trying to start their car in winter, is a frozen engine. Have your coolant system flushed and refilled in the fall to make sure no blocks are forming.

3. Inspect your tires and washer fluid.

Summer tires are made with stiffer material that can freeze in cold temperatures. This leads to more accidents and further braking distances. Make sure you know how your tires will perform in colder temperatures. Take the time to fill your washer fluid reserve with nonfreezing fluid, so when you need to clear off salt grime while driving, you’ll get a consistent spray every time.

4. Clean the gutters after leaves fall to avoid any blockage.

A common occurrence that leads to severe damage to one’s home is ice dams. These are often created by leaves, and other debris in someone’s gutter causing water to back up and freeze in the gutter. When snow melts or ice starts to melt, it has nowhere to go accept over the side of the gutter, or behind the gutter into the home. Click here to read more.

5. Take the proper steps to avoid water pipes freezing.

A major problem people face every winter is freezing pipes. Their water stops working, then all of a sudden a frozen pipe bursts. Once the water inside starts to thaw, water leaks out and starts to ruin drywall, flooring, and contents. To avoid this, make sure you keep the temperature inside your home at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In the evening, leave a faucet running slowly to make sure warm water is being passed through the pipes. In areas of the home that don’t always get great heat such as bathrooms and kitchens, leave cabinet doors open which conceal water and drain pipes to help heat reach them.

If you’re not sure you would have coverage if a claim from one of these things happened, call us at Capitol Insurance to find out.

 

For more winter weather advice, check out our other blogs:

Cold Weather Tips for Winter

Icy Road Survival Tips

What Do I Do with My Motorcycle During Winter?