Tips from Toby: Safely clearing the snow

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The big dig has been going on all week. Most of us have been able to get in and out of our driveways, but there are some things you need to check to make sure you don't have big time damage done to your home.

First off, if you've been tugging on that snow blower cord with no good results, it may mean you have bad gasoline. Stale gasoline can stop many of our smaller engines from even starting.

Our newer high octane fuels break down much more quickly and a small engine won't work on gas that's just a month old. Drain out that old gas (and dispose of it properly) and you can safely just put it in your car. Put in fresh, higher octane gasoline (yes, it's the more expense stuff) and that might just be all you need to get started up again.

If you're still out shoveling, you've heard all the warnings this week, but it's worth mentioning again. It's not worth a heart attack. Go slowly, ask for help if you need it, and pace yourself when shoveling.

Check for any ice dams that are building up around the house. These can pull a gutter or siding right off your home. Break them off slowly and carefully and keep an eye on them as the snow melts.

All that snow that's built up on the roof can cause big problems for your gutters and leaks. Gently sweep off the snow about four feet up from the gutters, and be careful!

Check to make sure there is no snow that has drifted around the outside of your compressor unit. While you're there check to make sure no vent pipes are blocked as well.

And finally, this cold weather can lead to pressure loss in your car tires. Check the pressure and fill if needed. Just four pounds of low tire pressure can lead to loss of control when driving. Check your pressure monthly.

And finally be sure to check around the bottom of the garage door and that can knock it off it's track - this is also a place where rodents are looking to get in.

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