Winter Driving Tips

Phil Thompson Properties Tenants and Friends,

Please be aware that winter weather is continuing through at least Wednesday. We are expected to have snow and ice in the mornings but this should melt by the afternoon.
Temperatures should not be severe but please continue to monitor your plumbing for any problems. On colder nights, leave doors open below sinks, allow faucets to run slowly and keep foundation vents covered. A little prevention goes a LONG WAY! 

With our morning commutes being effected by snow and ice here are a few common sense tips if you have to be on the road.

1: Don’t. If you don’t need to go out, don’t. Why risk it?

2: Visibility. Okay, so you have to get on the road, Give yourself time to warm up the car and clear your windows of any ice. Make sure you have good wipers and anti-freeze window washer fluid. When you drive behind cars on snowy roads you will get dirty windshields as the car ahead of you throws up dirty slush which can reduce your visibility greatly.

3 Traction: Check your tire tread. If you have older tires and drive on snowy icy roads you are really taking a risk. Even new tires require careful driving to avoid accidents, and on icy roads even the best of tires are useless.

4: Preparation: For any cold weather driving make sure you have clothing (coat hat gloves boots) which can keep you warm, or possibly someone in need. A small folding shovel and ice scraper fit easily in your trunk or behind a seat, have some healthy snacks and a ‘space blanket’  for extra protection. Make sure your cellphone is fully charged and if you will be on roads that don’t have much traffic, let a friend know of your travel plans so that if you don’t show up in a reasonable time they’ll know where to look for you.

5: Slow and Steady. Don’t plan on driving the posted speed limits in snowy conditions. Give yourself some extra time to make appointments. Even if other drivers are going the speed limit, if there is snow, ice or slush on the road SLOW DOWN! On curvy and hilly roads this is especially important. Don’t do any sudden movements, only apply easy pressure to accelerate, brake or steer. Take your time and avoid running into a ditch or sliding into another vehicle. A good habit is to test the traction on the road at the start of your trip. When you accelerate from your first stop pay attention to any slippage you may feel. When you come to your first stop, slow down early and tap your brakes with increasing force to determine if there is ice which will prevent you from stopping quickly if you need to. Do this a few times as road conditions can vary widely depending on amount of traffic and temperature changes along your route.

6:Slip n Slide: If you do start to slide, take your foot off the gas and DON”T brake. Doing either of these will cause your slide to get worse. Stay Calm, steer  toward the direction you want to be heading in. As you coast you will slow down and regain traction, unless you are on a bad patch of ice. If you are going down hill GO SLOW. Icy roads which are hilly should be avoided. Also, be aware than bridges and overpasses will be icier than other roads.

7: Defense is the best Offense. Remember, other drivers my not be as experienced in driving in snow, or they may be distracted. Give yourself extra room between you and the car ahead. If you have someone tailgating you also need to factor them into a possible situation where you may have to stop quickly.

8: Practice. We don’t get much snow or ice here in Middle TN but if possible, find a vacant parking lot when there is snow and practice driving in it. If you have a teenager who is new to driving, get them out there and have them experience what it is to have a slippery road surface. Better to slip and slide with nothing to run into than risk accident or injury on the road.

Here in Middle Tennessee we don’t get much opportunity to drive in snow and ice, so if you don’t have to, don’t. Stay home and enjoy the white scenery.  But if you do, be careful and use your common sense.

Phil Thompson Properties, Dickson TN

Winter Reminders

Winter is here and it’s important to take time to make sure you are ready for the harsh weather. 

Here in the Dickson TN area we are blessed to live surrounded by beautiful large trees. From Spring through the beginning of Autumn those trees offer shade along with their beauty but then all those leaves begin to fall as the weather cools. If your home is close to even a single tree you should check your rain gutters to make sure they are clear. If the gutters are full of leaves they won’t drain properly causing water to back up and run under the roof and down the walls. This will cause water leaks and flooding.  All it takes is a ladder and a pair of gloves and if you are unable to do this yourself, ask a neighbor or see if your church can offer assistance.

Don’t forget to close or cover the crawl space vents around your home as it will keep the house warmer and help prevent your water pipes from freezing. There are many options available to do this. Hardware and building supply stores can help you choose what is best for your situation. Here in Dickson, Lowe’s carries a selection of vent covers including a magnetic one which fits over metal covers without having to use screws. Cutting stiff foam to size and inserting on the inside of your vents is an economical way to seal and insulate your crawl space vents. Also, changing your air filter every month will assure your home will warm efficiently and reduce your energy bills.

When the temperature drops below freezing (not too often here in Dickson, TN) make sure to leave your faucet dripping at a fast steady pace. Leave it like that day and night until the weather warms up because pipes will freeze during the day as well as night. also, leave your cabinet doors open below your kitchen and bath sinks so the heat can get to the water lines. If you let your pipes freeze there is nothing that can be done until the weather warms up and the pipes thaw themselves out. There is also a chance that when your pipes freeze the ice will expand and burst the pipe resulting in costly repairs. When they do thaw out the water will run out under the house (or worse, into the home) until the main valve is closed. Take these precautions as they can save you a lot of misery and expense.

A little preparation goes along way toward making sure that winter is an enjoyable time of year. These tips are brought to you by Phil Thompson Properties provider of rental homes and properties in the Dickson Tennessee area.