Snow, slush, and ice can be treacherous. While winter is a beautiful season, this doesn’t change the fact that freezing and snowy conditions will leave surfaces difficult to travel on both in a vehicle and on foot. It’s easy to just brush off slippery conditions, but consider that a bad fall could lead to potential home damages or even traumatic injury for you, your family, and friends.
Why let the risk of an accident linger when you can easily mitigate slipping hazards around your property? This time, we’ll delve into ways to reduce slipping hazards throughout your home to ensure your safety and comfort this winter season!
Clearing and Cleaning
Our last blog discussed the importance of preparing the home for winter conditions. A major aspect of this post was the need to clean and clear all of your surfaces as much as possible. Keeping your walkways, patio, and deck clean is the first step in reducing slipping hazards and removing materials that could damage the surfaces. Grime and foreign objects such as leaves and pine needles not only contribute to mold accumulation, but also trap water. Water damage is highly prevalent in winter so keeping your outdoor areas as dry as possible. Standing water is also a sure recipe for ice which will make your walking areas slick. Eliminating the pre-seasonal clutter will help reduce the chance of freezing water build-up.
One of the best way to avoid slippery conditions it to see where you’re going. In addition to the ice and snow, the winter’s most notable feature is the lack of visibility throughout the season. Outdoor lights already have multiple uses and applications including security and physical aesthetic. Exterior lights actually enhance your curb appeal and make your home more valuable too! If you think your property is particularly susceptible to slippery surfaces, go ahead and position your new lights around inclines, stairs, and other areas prone to ice accumulation.
If possible, try and have your lights near handrails. This will not only help you and your guests navigate slippery conditions but also provide a source of balance and security with the handrail.
Employ Non-Slip Mats
There are several mats on the market with non-slip features that you can apply to outdoor surfaces like the entrance, deck, and other walkways. These mats actually serve multiple functions in addition to helping you grip outdoor surfaces. Outdoor mats will also help you keep your house clean while protecting key surfaces such as the wood in your deck or porch.
Be sure to research some of these products carefully, many of these mats come in a variety of colors and styles. Your mat selection can not only provide a safety function but also serve as a seasonal decoration to your home. There are also non-slip strips that can be secured with an adhesive or with screws to wooden surfaces; just be aware that this could alter your wooden surfaces permanently. Additionally, be sure to have rugs and mats inside the entrance of your home so that your shoes can be dried off, this way you won’t slip inside your house as well!
Clear the Snow
Ice and snow are the chief causes of slipping accidents, so naturally, you’ll want to prevent and clear your walkways as soon as possible. While snow salt might be a good preventative measure for the driveway, don’t use it on wood. Salt pellets can scratch the wood and trap water which leads to water damage on wooden surfaces. Use an alternative like sand for your deck and porch, or you could lay out a protective mat.
When it’s safe to clear snow and ice, be careful and take your time. Wear winter clothing and boots with a good tread so that you’ll be safe and stable while outdoors. Be sure to use the right equipment as well. Don’t use metal shovels on wood, this can easily scar and damage wooden boards. Instead, use plastic shovels which are quite applicable on all surfaces. When you’re clearing, go with quality, not quantity. Your home will be better served with a clear path that has good traction rather than an area that is only partially shoveled. Once you’ve cleared a path, snow salt or sand can be applied on the concrete not covered by mats.