Every year, hundreds of people brave the frigid temperatures and hazardous conditions to relocate during the cold winter months. While you might save on your winter move, you will still find that moving during this time of year has its very own set of challenges. Dangerous weather conditions, ice covered roads, and necessary home maintenance make it especially draining. To make sure you are properly prepared for such a move, we present you with some tips which you can consider when relocating in winter.
Hiring movers who specialize moving in cold weather
For those moving in frigid weather, we strongly recommend hiring movers to assist with the heavy-lifting. Trust us, if a blizzard hits at the last minute, you will be glad you did. To find credible movers, you can search online to find a licensed and insured network of professional and dependable moving companies. Once you have found your moving company and scheduled a moving date, it is important that you talk about a backup moving date with your moving company. If terrible weather hits your area, you have to consider the possibility of power outages or even about being snowed in, and the moving company will need to have a backup moving date in case of emergencies.
Preparing for winter
If you are handling the move yourself, make sure that you planned the route ahead of time. It’s best to pick main roads instead of deserted back-roads. In case of ice and snow, it’s most likely that these main roads will be cleared first. If you are driving a long distance, make sure that you have your car serviced before the relocation. Make sure that you examine tires and if you haven’t already, replace them with winter tires, which are built to provide traction when driving on icy roads.
A few weeks before your move, call the utility provider to arrange a date and time to set up heat and electricity in your new home. It would be ideal if you can get the heat running a day or two before you move in.
Also when preparing for your relocation, keep your pets in mind. Unless you plan on moving them in a small space or crate, it is a good idea to either board or keep your pet under the supervision of a dog walker or friend on the day of your move. Unfortunately, moving day involves lots of open doors, which make it very easy for your pet to get out, run away or get lost, and that would not be a great way start out in your new place.
When you are packing, keep in mind that you might have to deal with freezing temperatures and precipitation. If it is snowy, icy and slushy outside, you will need to make sure that your things are correctly protected. Waterproof as much of the relocation as possible by using packing items such as plastic bins, plastic bags, plastic wrap, mattress bags, waterproof moving labels and bubble wrap. Remember that electronics and wet weather do not mix well. We suggest putting all small electronics, cords, and cables in sealed plastic bags before they are packed into boxes. It might be a good idea to have the moving company professionally pack the larger electronics for you.
When you are packing, remember to load your car with winter supplies. These include an emergency first-aid kit, hats and gloves, shovels, blankets, windshield scrapers, bottled water, snacks, flashlights, batteries, cell phone chargers and maybe some road salt.
Moving in winter
When moving day comes around, we recommend getting the moving process started early in the day. Days are noticeably shorter during the winter months, especially for those who live in the northern climates. It is important to begin early so that you have as much daylight as possible while you are moving. If weather conditions are severe, make sure that you are dressed for the occasion. Wear warm gloves, coats, scarves, hats, and practical snow boots. It might be a good idea to pack a thermos filled with some hot beverage as well.
Before you begin your move, we suggest that you shovel any sidewalks, stairs, or driveways near your home that are covered with snow and ice. Also, make sure that you salt slippery pathways and doorsteps. If you are relocating to a big city, be prepared to shovel out street parking spaces as well. Once you are inside the house, protect your floors and entryway with flattened cardboard boxes. This will help keep your home dry and clear of the icy slush dragged in by the movers.
Winterizing your new home
Once you have moved in, it is time to start winterizing your new home. By putting the time in ahead of your move to adequately prepare your house for the cold winter months, you will not only save money on utility bills and costly home repairs, but you will also improve the value and condition of your new home.
First, we recommend having a technician visit your new house to perform an audit of your home’s energy. This will decide whether or not you need to improve your ductwork, insulation, or furnace. It will tell you how and where the cold air is coming into your house so that you can seal up any leaks. Nationwide Insurance suggests sealing air leaks by placing a sweep at the base of any doors which lead outside and to apply caulk around your windows. Hire someone to check the heat ducts for any air leaks. And have them seal your attic to avoid any additional heat loss.
Here are some other winterizing suggestions that you can keep in mind
Look around and identify any dangerous tree limbs that could potentially fall on to your house during a winter storm. Remove any threatening tree limbs, and prune bushes around your house to help prevent accidents. Place a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. Make sure that you regularly change the batteries and test the detector as well. According to the CDC, the most accidental carbon monoxide poisonings occur during the winter months because of the gas is given off by stoves, generators, furnaces, cars and more. Examine your steps, brick walkways and driveways to ensure they are secure. Any loose bricks or steps could become a walking hazard in slippery wet weather. Clean your gutters, if they are clogged up clean them out as soon as you can. Debris left in the gutters can lead to water build-up, which will then freeze, causing leaks in your house.
Hire a professional to clean and inspect your roof and chimney. If you own a wood-burning fireplace, it is especially important to have it inspected and cleaned before you light a fire in winter. Inspect and change your furnace filters regularly during the winter months. Have a professional come out to your home and inspect the furnace to check that it is running properly. Insulate all of your pipes to avoid having them burst and flood your home during these cold months. Trust us, you will be glad you did, wrapping your pipes in some heating tape or fiberglass will help keep them from freezing.
Inspect the batteries in your smoke detectors and make sure they are in proper working condition. Home fires are common during the winter because of common electrical problems with heating equipment. Stay safe and inspect not only your detectors but your appliances as well. Once you have winterized your new home, you can sit back and enjoy the comforts of your cozy new home with peace of mind.
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