Lost Traction In The Snow?

Getting Out Of A Sticky (Snowy?) Situation

With winter in full force and Christmas nearly here, many of us are braving the snowy roads and icy parking lots. Whether you’re driving cross-country to see family, or driving down the road for groceries, you are likely going to encounter some bad road conditions! If you’re losing traction in the grocery store parking lot or stuck in a foot of snow, this guide should help you get out!

Car without Traction

Momentum Is Key!

If you are slipping or sliding on or off the road, don’t stop! If you keep your momentum up there is a good chance you will be able to drive away! If you stop you are much more likely to become stuck in the snow.

Easy On The Throttle.

Throttle control is extremely important when trying to get un-stuck. If you use too much power, you will spin your wheels and dig deeper into the snow. Spinning wheels can also turn the snow into ice, which isn’t ideal for traction! A light foot is a necessity when trying to get out of the snow.

Think About Gears.

If you are in a vehicle with an automatic, shift to the lowest gear possible. If you are in a vehicle with a manual transmission, shift to 3rd or 4th gear. Doing so will allow you to more easily control your tire movement and minimize wear to your car.

Disable Traction Control.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, traction control won’t help you get unstuck! Traction control works by applying the brakes to whichever wheel has the least traction. This limits your control over the vehicle and can actually keep you from driving out of the snow! If your vehicle has traction control, you can turn it off by pushing or holding the traction control button. Be careful not to apply too much power with traction control off or your tires will just spin. See “Easy On The Throttle.

Rock & Roll!

Rocking your vehicle back and forth can help propel it out of a rut. Simply drive forward as much as you can, then put the car in reverse and move backwards. Repeat this step to build momentum and get unstuck! If you feel the car get over the rut, you can give it some gas to power out of the snow.

Traction Tools.

If you are stuck it is probably too late to put tire chains or cables on your car. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options! Small rocks, sand, kitty litter, and even small branches can be placed under the tires to add some grip. There are also traction boards available that work great for adding traction; they work as a makeshift shovel too!

Air Those Tires Down

If you simply don’t have enough traction to get moving, deflating your tires by a few PSI may help! When you let air out of your tires the contact patch between the tire and ground increases. This means you have more tread on the ground to add traction! If you keep your wheels straight with the tires aired down, there is less resistance so your car will move easier. Keep in mind that you will need to re-inflate your tires soon after getting unstuck or you risk damaging them. Several companies make portable air compressors for this application!

Dig, Dig, Dig!

Sometimes there is simply too much snow to drive through. When this is the case a proper shovel is your friend! There are several portable shovels available, many with collapsible handles for easy storage. These will come in very useful for unburying axles and clearing the underside of your car in deep snow. You can also use a shovel to build a ramp in the snow if it’s too deep for your car!

Last Ditch Efforts

If these tips just aren’t working in your situation, it’s best to either phone a friend or call a tow company for help! Remember to always check your tailpipes as a blockage could force exhaust gases into your vehicles cabin. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re waiting for help, break out your Winter Emergency Kit to stay warm and cozy! While you’re waiting, check out our Featured Listings, or like us on Facebook to see our Virtual Open House videos and other important updates!

Winter Emergency Kit

Be Prepared This Winter! Pack an Emergency Kit.

Driving in snow can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous; 17% of all car accidents occur in winter weather conditions! It is important to be prepared for whatever is thrown your way, whether you hit ice and slide into a ditch or your car breaks down. We recommend keeping a basic emergency kit in your car at all times so you are prepared if something happens. This list covers the basics on what you need!

Emergency Kit

Emergency Kit Essentials:

  1. First Aid Kit – A first-aid kit is something you should always keep in your car. While it won’t help with major medical issues, you can at least bandage any scrapes or cuts! If you are prescribed any medication, keep some labeled in your first aid kit in case you are stranded.
  2. Flashlight – It is really, really dark at night during a snow storm! Pack a good flashlight or headlamp in your emergency kit. This can be extremely useful if you need to work on your car in the dark. USB charging is a big plus on these!
  3. Ice Scraper – Your car’s defroster doesn’t always work as quickly or as well as it needs to. Put an ice scraper in your kit so you can clear your windshield in icy conditions. Low visibility through your windshield can be very dangerous!
  4. Jumper Cables – The rest of your car emergency kit isn’t much good if you can’t start the car! Jumper cables allow you to start your car with a dead battery using another car. These can be really helpful year-round. Just be sure you’re putting them on correctly, or you risk damaging the electrical components in your car.
  5. Snow Shovel – This one is pretty straightforward… If you are stuck in the snow, a snow shovel can help you get out. You don’t need a full size shovel in your emergency kit, smaller shovels are made for this specific purpose!
  6. Bag Of Cat Litter – The main reason cars get stuck in the snow is lack of traction. If you find yourself in a position where your tires are spinning on ice or snow you can simply sprinkle cat litter behind the tire to add traction! We recommend keeping at least a couple gallons bagged up, as you may go through a lot!
  7. Cell Phone Charger – Your phone is pretty much useless without a charge! Keep a car charger and a portable battery charged up in your car to be sure you’re never stuck with a dead phone. It’s also a good idea to keep your emergency contact numbers written down somewhere in your car, so you can still call them on someone else’s phone.
  8. Water – Dehydration can be a serious problem if you are stranded. Keep at least a gallon of water in your emergency kit. Keep in mind water expands when it is frozen, so if you’re filling your own container leave some room at the top.
  9. Blanket – Winter is cold! Pack at least one good, thick blanket to keep you warm if you need to stay in your car. If you have room for a second blanket, pack a tough one that you could lay on under your car if needed during repairs. Military wool blankets work well for everything.
  10. Tool Kit – Just like the first-aid kit, a basic tool kit can be useful year-round! From small repairs to tire changes, there are many uses for tools. If your car requires any special tools (European cars often use Torx bolts) be sure to pack those into your tool kit.
  11. Roadside Reflectors – Breaking down on the side of the road can put you at risk of being hit by passing drivers; especially in low visibilty scenarios like a winter storm! Roadside reflectors or road triangles help other drivers know where you are and that you may need assistance. They take up little room and are definitely a good item to keep with you.
  12. Non-Perishable Food – If you are stranded in your car, you will probably need an energy boost at some point. Keep non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, dehydrated fruits, and jerky in your emergency kit for that little extra energy kick! Don’t forget to rotate snacks out every few months so you are never stuck with bad food.
  13. Matches/Lighter – Matches or a lighter can provide you with some light and warmth in an emergency. Pack waterproof matches so they can’t be ruined by moisture. Disposable lighters such as a bic or clipper lighter are best as they won’t leak fluid and they work in cold conditions.
  14. Insulated Work Gloves – If you need to work on your car in the snow, you are probably going to want a good pair of gloves! Insulated work gloves are the best choice for an emergency kit. They will keep you warm and hold up to any abuse you throw at them.

This list should give you a good base to build your own emergency kit from! Winter driving can be treacherous so we hope this kit can help you this winter season! If you are reading this wishing you lived somewhere snowy, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your Next Home in the mountains! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome updates and our bi-weekly virtual open house series.

Happy Thanksgiving From NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals!

We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving from the NextHomies here at NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals!

NextHome Thanksgiving

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees in The National Forest

For many people, going out to cut down a Christmas Tree is a valued family tradition passed down from generation to generation. It is a great way to bond as a family in our beautiful National Forests. Pagosa Springs has an abundance of tree-cutting areas and opportunity, so you are sure to find the perfect tree for you and your family! The Forest Service provides some excellent guides for identifying trees and cutting them:

Christmas Tree Cutting1024_1Christmas Tree Cutting1024_2 Christmas Tree ID1024_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The San Juan National Forest offers permits (priced at $8) to go out and find the perfect tree for your family! Not only will you get a Christmas Tree for the year, but you are also contributing to the conservation of our forests, and fire mitigation as well! If you are unsure where to find a tree, you can contact the Forest Service here and they will answer any questions you may have! *Permits will go on sale November 12, 2020.

Southwest Colorado is a great place to enjoy a snowy Christmas. Give us a call today at (970) 507-8655! We would love to help you find your Next Home!

Beat The Cold!

Pagosa Escape Zone

Escape Zone
Photo: Pagosa Escape Zone

If you’re looking for things to do out of the cold, Pagosa Escape Zone should be on your list! The escape zone features rooms with 3 scenarios to choose from and each room is sanitized between bookings for covid safety. The goal for each room is simple… Escape!

While they do change regularly, the current escape scenarios are:

Escape Zone

  • Treasure of the Rocky Mountains – “In 2010 an 86 year old multi-millionaire named Forrest Fenn buried over $2,000,000 worth of treasure in the Rocky Mountains of North America – the only clue to the location of his treasure is a riddle in the form of a poem…you have 60 minutes…DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to find the treasure and “ESCAPE” before time runs out???”

Escape Zone

  • Jimmy Buffet Themed Beach Party – “Come join our beach party where you and your team of 2 to 8 people have 60 minutes to find Jimmy Buffett’s lost shaker of salt and ESCAPE before time runs out. You may not want to leave this tropical paradise once we lock you in…DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES???”

Escape Zone

  • Krampus – “You and your group of 4 to 8 people have 60 minutes to decipher clues, find codes and solve puzzles in order to ESCAPE before Krampus returns and makes you his next victims…DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES???”

The Pagosa Escape Zone is the perfect spot to have fun with friends, spend time with family, or even host a team building event for your business! Located next to Mountain Pizza downtown for easy access, this is an awesome place to warm up after a day of skiing! Check the Pagosa Escape Zone website for more information! Don’t forget to like NextHome RMR on Facebook! If you would like to talk to a NextHome real estate expert, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. We would love to help you find your Next Home!

Beat The Cold!

Smoken Moe’s Unreal BBQ

Smoken Moe's
Photo Courtesy: smokenmoesunrealbbq.com

Smoken Moe’s Unreal BBQ was established in 2006 in Ignacio, CO and moved to Pagosa Springs in 2012. Known for some of the best BBQ this side of Texas, Smoken Moe’s is a great place to beat the cold and sit down for a warm meal! Moe’s offers pit-smoked barbeque smothered in signature sauces, perfect to warm you up! They also offer catering and you can even order food by the pound to bring the barbeque home! The menu has plenty of options, so you are sure to find something great to eat!

Smoken Moe's
Photo Courtesy: smokenmoesunrealbbq.com

With everything going on in the world, it is more important than ever to support your local businesses! Whether you’re going out to a local restaurant for lunch or buying gifts for Christmas, shopping local helps your community thrive and grow. If you would like to talk to one of our real estate experts, give us a call at (970) 507-8655! You can also like us on Facebook for NextHome RMR updates!

Wolf Creek Pass

Covered In Snow!

It snowed in Colorado this past weekend… A lot! Wolf Creek Pass received 14 inches of powder overnight, and Pagosa Springs woke up to steady snowfall! With snow starting to fall, now is the time to prepare your home for winter. Check our Winter Prep Guide out to see what you should do to prepare for winter!

Wolf Creek Pass

It isn’t too cold to sell your home or buy a dream home! Give us a call at (970) 507-8655 to talk to a Southwest Colorado real estate expert! If you would like to look at our current listings in Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas, click here!

Winter Is Coming!

How To Prep Your Home For Winter Weather

Winter Wonderland

Prepare For Emergencies – Every year, harsh winter conditions get the best of hundreds of people in the US. It’s important to be prepared in case you are unable to leave your home for supplies. Here’s a list of supplies we recommend keeping in your home this winter:

  • Non-Perishable Food and Bottled Water for at least 3 days
  • Flashlights/Headlamps & Batteries in case the power goes out.
  • Snow Shovels ( To get out of your home!)
  • Ice Melt & Sand – Use the ice melt first, and then throw sand over the melted ice to give traction.
  • Alternative Heat – If your main heat source fails, it is good to have backups such as kerosene heaters and wool blankets.
  • Tool Kit – Most residences already have one, but it’s a good idea to keep a tool kit stocked with common tools and any specialty tool you may need for heaters, lights, etc.

Inspect Roof – The worst time to realize your roof has a leak is after the first snow hits. Luckily, it is easy to inspect your roof for possible issues beforehand. You don’t even need to get on the roof! Grab a pair of binoculars and work your way around the house, looking for the following:

  • Broken or Missing Shingles
  • Cracked Caulk or Rust Spots on the Flashing
  • Shingles that are Buckling or Curling Up
  • Moss or Lichen Growing on the Roof (this could indicate the roof is decaying beneath the surface)

If you aren’t comfortable tackling these issues yourself, you can get a professional roof inspection for roughly $119-$300.

Insulate Windows – Windows that don’t seal property can let cold drafts into your home, driving your energy bills up and comfort down. To prevent these drafts, you can re-seal the window with silicone, line the window with draft blockers, or even seal it with shrink wrap! If your window is cracked, clear nail polish can temporarily fix the window until it can be replaced.

Inspect Fireplace/Woodstove – It is a good idea to have your fireplace/woodstove inspected every year before using it. This is to ensure that there are no birds nests or other blockages that could catch fire in your chimney and cause problems. These inspections can cost anywhere between $79 and $500 depending on your area and the type of fireplace you have.

Clear Decks and Pathways – With winter comes snow, and with snow comes snow shoveling! Cleaning everything off your deck will make shoveling snow so much easier than it would be trying to navigate around summer furniture! Clear wide paths to outbuildings and anything else you may want access to after the snow flies.

Following this steps will help you prepare yourself and your home for winter! If you enjoyed this post and would like to talk to one of our Southwest Colorado real estate experts, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. To view the homes we currently have for sale, click here!

 

Wildfire Defensible Space

Wildfire Defensible Buffer Zones

wildfires

Wildfire Buffer Zones can be used to reduce fire damage to buildings and sensitive areas in landscapes prone to wildfire. This guide from the USDA National Agroforestry Center shows what you can do to to increase the defensible space around your home and property. If you have any additional questions regarding wildfire safety, see the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s website here.

Zone 1. A minimum of 30 feet is needed for firefighters to protect a structure from wildfire. On a slope, increase the distance to 100 feet downhill of the structure. Use low growing and low flammability plants, spaced apart from each other. Remove dead material.

Zone 2. Deciduous trees and shrubs and widely-spaced conifers may be used in Zone 2. Remove branches within 8 feet of the ground (but no more than 30 percent of the height of the tree) and space trees so that crowns remain at least 10 feet apart at maturity. Remove ladder fuels which are tree limbs and other materials that allow fire to burn into the tree crown.

Zone 3. Manage this zone to maintain forest stand health and other landowner objectives. Limit number of dead trees or snags but save some for wildlife (1 to 2 snags/acre). Check with your local forester for additional guidelines.

Characteristics of Low Flammability Plants

• Supple moist leaves and water-like, thin sap

• Little or no accumulation of dead vegetation on the plant

• Open and loose branching structure

Source: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/buffers/guidelines/5_protection/11.html

If you liked this post be sure to check our others out here! We would love to help you find your Next Home. Give us a call at (970) 507-8655 to talk to a Southwest Colorado expert! You can view our current featured listings here.