If you’ve lived somewhere sunny your whole life, you might not be prepared for the harsh reality of a northern winter. Sure you know it’s going to be cold, but you might not have thought through all the side effects.
Homes look different in the north and there are good reasons for that. Colder weather demands more insulation, tighter windows, and winterized pipes and hoses. You don’t see so many flat roofs the further north you go and if you’re wondering why, look at a snow load calculator to tell you how strong a flat roof needs to be to survive a blizzard.
Winterizing your home is just the start. Things don’t stop just because there’s snow on the ground, and that includes work. Driving in the snow is a special challenge, requiring special skills and sometimes special equipment. Having a bag of grit in the back of your car may become normal, snow tires become a necessary expense, and it’s understood that the salt on the road will cause rust and other problems in the undercarriage of your car if you aren’t careful about it.
Lastly, there’s you. You may have already invested in long underwear or other winter protective gear, but you won’t realize just how necessary it is until you’re there. Don’t underestimate the power of something even as simple as a scarf and hat when it comes to staying warm. Beyond staying warm, there are other factors to consider. Are your boots grippy enough to handle slippery sidewalks? How will you answer your touchscreen phone while wearing gloves?
If you’re considering moving north, or anywhere that’s colder and gets snow, you might want to consider the slightly less well-known side effects. There are things you need to watch out for that you may not have been warned about.