Experts give tips to prep your home, car for winter weather

How to keep your home and car safe.

Experts give tips to prep your home, car for winter weather

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As the temperatures continue to drop this weekend reaching below freezing, you will need to take some steps to get your home and belongings ready.

Seth Johnson, vice president of Ace Hardware, said “a simple check around the home and a few dollars spent for prevention goes a long way.”

Let’s start with the crawl space. Foundation vents below the home let air in during the summer to keep mold and mildew from growing. “During the winter time and the freezing temperatures,” Johnson said, "you don’t want air passing through there and busting your pipes.”

Johnson also said wind is the number one problem when temperatures get low. “As the wind comes across the pipe, it freezes that water and you don’t know it until typically a day or two later,” said Johnson.

He said allowing pipes to drip or putting covers over them may cost a few bucks, but it’s worth it compared to the alternative. And, while important to remember, frozen pipes probably won’t be the most visible issue this weekend. The main issue will be the ice on your windshield.

“Whatever you do, don’t put water on the windshield," said White Automotive Center’s Ryan Tait. "Despite how many people say it, it will tear up your windshield. It will crack.”

Tait said you can use a credit card to scrape away ice if you’re in a hurry.

Other tips and tricks include checking your tire pressure and battery regularly during cold weather, as well as keeping space heaters away from flammable materials to avoid a house fire. What people don’t realize, according to Johnson, is with the constant heat and drying that space heaters provide, they make flammable materials tender to catch flame. So he suggests putting heaters on non-flammable items such as ceramic plates or something similar..

Lastly, when it comes to driving on ice, here’s what could be some life saving advice. “The biggest thing to watch out for is icy roads,” said Tait. “Bridges tend to freeze before the roads do and if you can tell there’s a patch of ice, the biggest thing to watch out for is to not hit the gas and not hit the brakes. Just coast through the ice.”

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