Get Your Car – and Carport – Ready for the Snow

product5813ef1603a35f50892ac8d3d68ff396Many Mid-Atlantic states have experienced higher-than-average snowfalls over the past few weeks. Cities like Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia saw snowfalls over 30 inches, which is generally unusual, even for northern cities. While amounts like this are often more typical of New England states or upstate New York, be prepared for the weather, regardless. One article published recently gives some advice for those in the Mid-Atlantic region regarding snowfalls. Most of this consists of buying food before the snow hits and having enough salt for your sidewalk, but it also hits on some points regarding your car and carport.

In regards to getting your car ready for the snow, the article linked mentions that all cars should be parked in a carport or garage and to keep them away from curbs and alleys. This is not only better for the car but, for the day following the snow storm, a street cleared from vehicles is more beneficial to those plowing. Although this protects your car from the snow, one point the article failed to mention is preparing your carport. A carport or any other portable structure not anchored, for example, might not withstand a 30-inch snowfall. Worse, it may collapse on your vehicle.

When snow’s reported to hit, check the stability of your carport. Most importantly, it should be anchored into the ground either with concrete or with metal anchors. If the structure is anchored, check all joints and the roof to see if all are stable enough to withstand snow and wind. Also, to prevent snow or ice from forming on your car, see if you can get a full-coverage shelter or modify your current carport or portable garage with sidewalls and a door.

Can Snow Damage a Carport?

In theory, no, snow should not damage a carport. In fact, most carports and portable garages are designed to be sturdy enough, so that, in case of heavy snowfalls, rain, or wind, the structure continues to stand and protect your investments inside. This, of course, only applies when the shelter is maintained and installed properly. As most of the United States has recently experienced heavier-than-average snowfalls, a town in North Carolina saw a few carports collapse from the snow. While the types of carports aren’t mentioned under the linked article, the situation brings up the question, “Are people installing and maintaining their carports properly?”

In a warmer part like North Carolina, snowfall is rarely an issue, and the state is too far northeast to experience the damage done by hurricanes and tornadoes. In a sense, you could say that North Carolina is in an ideal location for owning a carport, as extreme weather rarely becomes an issue. Or, is it? As we see in this particular article, freak weather can come, and, as an owner of any portable outdoor shelter, you should be prepared for it, especially if items are stored inside.

To keep your carport or portable garage in tip-top shape, the first thing to do is to make sure the shelter is installed properly. This includes putting it in the ground and anchoring the shelter by either anchors or with concrete. As soon as the poles are firmly planted into the ground, the only issue left remaining for safety issues is the roof. Whether a polyethylene or galvanized steel roof, all are attached to the rest of the structure, and, periodically, the joints need to be checked. If they’re rusted or weak, then they should be replaced, and portable shelter dealers like Shelters of America and Portable Garage Depot carry replacement parts for such needs.