Prepping Your Home for a Minnesota Winter

Now is a great time for a home energy audit to determine if your home is ready for a Minnesota winter.  Energy audits can check if your home is properly insulated and ventilated.  It can let you know how efficient your heating and cooling system is performing and can let you know if there are any air leaks.  Knowing this information could save you money in the long run as you can fix problem areas to make your home more efficient and reduce your energy usage.


Having your attic and home properly insulated not only can save you money it can prevent ice dams from forming and potentially damaging your home.   This could cost you more money to fix the damage then it would cost to prevent the ice dams from forming.


During the fall you should also check the plumbing for potential small cracks in pipes as replacing plumbing in the winter can be more costly than late Summer and Fall.   If you replace anything from the heating, electric, roofing, or plumbing systems you should let your insurance agent know, as you may qualify for a discount on your current or future insurance policy.


Once the leaves start to fall, make sure you clear them from the roof and gutters as soon you can.  This is  because if you don’t take the leaves out of the gutters before the snow occurs then your gutters will get clogged and won’t drain properly away from your home and could cause water damage.

Safe Summer Driving Tips



General Driving Safety

When summer driving remember to watch out for children and pedestrians on the road, especially local neighborhood roads and near parks.   During the summer when school is out more children will be out playing in the streets, sidewalks and parks.  In addition more people will be out cycling, skating or walking.

Make sure your car is serviced and ready for summer driving.  Check all fluids and top off as needed this includes: coolant, brake, power steering, and windshield.  Also make sure that your tires are properly inflated and rotated on a routine basis, along with oil changes.

Make sure you have a summer weather kit that stocked with jumper cables, flashlight, first aid kit, water, healthy snacks especially if you are going on long drives.

If your tire blows out and you need to change it yourself make sure that you pull over to the side of the road as far away from traffic as you can but on a flat enough surface that you can safely jack up your car. Turn on your hazard lights, check under your car for a good solid metal part that your jack can lift and support.  If the ground is too soft to support the jack you should call for roadside assistance usually the jacks they have are better jacks and can handle a hot day better or they would be able to tow you to a place that you can get a new tire .  Roadside assistance is something that should be recommended by your insurance agent and typically costs only a couple dollars a month.

If you car overheats, which it can easily do on hot days of the summer , you should take these precautions.  Refer to your vehicle manual for proper cooling guidelines.   Ideally the cooling system in your car should be completely flushed and refilled for maximum performance in the heat.

In case your car overheats and you need to refill the radiator do not open the radiator cap immediately after stopping the vehicle but wait until the engine has cooled down.   The cap will be hot and pressurized steam might burst out from the radiator causing you injury.  Also you must be take precautions to avoid contact with coolant.  Additives in the coolant, such as antifreeze, may contain chemicals that are injurious to health.

Summer Storm Safety

The best thing to do if you know it’s storming out is not to go out; if you are out and a storm unexpectedly pops up take these precautions.  If you come across water crossings, get out of your car and check for the water depth before you attempt to cross it.  Do not attempt to cross if the water is moving.  Moving water is extremely dangerous and can easily sweep the car off the road.

If you sense bad weather approaching, turn on your radio and monitor the weather news.  In case of tornadoes, seek shelter immediately preferably in a sturdy structure.  If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert with your hands shielding your head.  If the road is wet due to rain, reduce your car speed and drive carefully especially on curves.  If you catch your car hydroplaning, don’t brake suddenly, instead decelerate, find a open space ahead and gently steer your car to that open space ahead.

Safe summer driving tips help saves lives.