Ask an Expert

By Tom Lopatosky

My name is Tom Lopatosky. I’m the President of LOPCO Contracting ( and I’m honored to have the opportunity to talk to you about home improvement on a monthly basis. I love answering your questions! Please send them to or call 401-270-2664. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this column!

Preparing for Snow

Around these parts, it is a 4-letter word if there ever was one – S-N-O-W…

The last three years, Rhode Islanders have lucked out very well through December and most of January as winter has seemingly taken its sweet time to get here – this year has already been a bit different!

Hardly anybody probably will forget what happened though in late January of 2015 and the several weeks that followed anytime soon (I would not be surprised if we still had snow somewhere melting from that winter!!).

This past winter, we had nowhere near the piling up of snow that we did a couple of winters before, but we certainly had our share of it.

Although in recent years, it may have been delayed in getting to us, the potential for snow piling up quickly, as evidenced by experiences fresh in our memory, is VERY real.

As home and business owners, what can we do to help better prepare ourselves in advance of the snow and when we do have snow that begins to add up?

Here are some hints that are hopefully helpful:

In advance of snow:

Make sure your snowblower(s) are working properly
Make sure your shovels & roof-rakes are in an easy to find place and are in good condition
Make sure your snowmelt is properly stocked
After a good-sized snow/as the snow piles up:

Make sure snow is removed from walkways & driveways soon after it falls to prevent icing up
Make sure dryer/exhaust vents & the bottom of your downspouts do not stay buried in snow and remove snow from laying up against the foundation wherever you are able to
If snow begins to pile up to a great degree, if possible, make sure it does not pile up too high on your roof
Although these all may seem very obvious, I believe they are beyond important in order to help navigate through the snowiest days of winter.

Trying to live everyday life while snow is throwing curveballs at it is challenging enough, a simple gameplan to aid in battling these winter days can go a long way! I personally cannot wait for Spring to get here!