Protecting Your Outdoor Vehicles During the Harsh Mid Western Winter

The Midwestern region of the United States is one of the most diversely beautiful regions in the entire country. Nowhere else can you experience hot summer, warm spring, cool fall and freezing winter temperatures all in one state except in the Midwestern region. Midwestern states include areas along the Great Lakes such as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. These states are known for their proximity to the water, making them great tourist attractions during the summer months for water sports such as skiing, fishing, diving and simple sunning on some natural and manmade beaches.

Protecting your outdoor vehicles in these states during the winter requires some effort on your part. It’s not as simple as just throwing a cloth over your vehicle and hoping it will do. This is particularly true if you have a vehicle that is going to be directly exposed to snow, rain, freezing rain, ice and other hazards.

In most Midwestern states, when the winter first starts, temperatures are still mild and relatively predictable. Some days you may wake up to find a light dusting of snow or small frozen rain drops on your outdoor vehicle. This time of year is not of any significant consequence because typically what happens is that by midday the temperature has risen above the freezing point; direct sunlight is shining down on your vehicle and has melted the snow or ice and although it may still be very cold, your vehicle has probably been used and has warmed up so that no harm is done.

Once winter gets going good, around December for most states, there is snow on the ground on a consistent basis. Major roads and highways are cleared by snow removal trucks which also salt the roads making them nicely passable for traveling. But this is the time of winter that protection for your outdoor vehicles is significantly important. One of the major sources of damage to your vehicle is the very salt they put down on the roads to clear them so that you can drive.

Salt tends to adhere to the painted surfaces around the lower parts of your car, truck or SUV and, if left untreated, can eat away and erode not only the paint but the very metal of the vehicle itself, leaving damaging holes that can be expensive to repair. The best way to avoid salt damage to your vehicle is to remove it with a slightly damp cloth as soon as you notice it. Obviously this should be done only if your owner’s manual does not suggest a different way to remove items from your surfaces.

Outdoor vehicles differ greatly from those that benefit from indoor or garage storage. For starters, outdoor vehicles are exposed to the weather’s elements no matter what they may be. This is okay for vehicles that are designed to stand up to such changing conditions but to date, there are not many such vehicles which do. Meaning, if you expect your outdoor vehicle to last, you will have to invest in protecting your outdoor vehicle during harsh Midwestern winter conditions.

One of the most unpredictable and damaging weather conditions during the winter in the Midwestern states is the arrival of freezing rain or an ice storm. The more damaging of the two is an ice storm. Freezing rain can be for a few minutes or longer and usually is serious because it creates a thin layer of ice on surface streets and highways and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. With freezing rain you can sometimes just wait for the sun to come out and because the layer of ice is a small one, the direct sun will melt it, leaving the street and other surfaces just wet.

An ice storm, on the other hand, leaves calling cards everywhere that it touches. Ice storms often happen overnight while you are sleeping and are relatively silent as they are occurring. Ice storms are very dangerous because the put a heavy layer of ice over everything from tree branches to your outdoor vehicle and more. Because the weight of this ice is much heavier, usually there are many reported instances where trees and power lines are too heavy and fall down.

This makes it important to store your outdoor vehicle in a safely covered place such as covered shed so that it will not sustain any major damage and be at least slightly protected from such elements.

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