Minnesota and Wisconsin are known for cold winters. Just how cold? On January 9 and 10 of 1982, the wind chill was purported to be -71 degrees in Minnesota. That type of weather can be fatal to people and animals, and it really does a number on our homes, too.
Most days aren’t nearly that cold, but many can get downright numbing. What can you do to prepare your home for this weather? We’ve compiled some of the best tips.
As you go through these tips, remember that everyone has a different level of comfort in tackling home projects. Please consider hiring professionals whenever you believe it is necessary.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near a fireplace, wood stove or portable heater. Vent all fuel-burning equipment outside.
- Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay.
- Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces. Use a sealant to plug up any leaks.
- Test your sump pump.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
Service snow-removal equipment. Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels.
- Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent them from causing a problem with ice or wind.
- Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade around the exterior of your home should slope away from the house.
- Remove and drain any attached hoses and store them for the winter.
- Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
- Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand.
- Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening. Re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
- Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet.
Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.
Projects Where You’ll Definitely Want Professional Help
- Have chimney and flue inspected.
- Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles. Have a professional replace them as necessary to prevent roof leaks.
- Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate.
- Have a professional Inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is in good repair.
Again, please consider hiring local professionals when needed, including clearing your driveway and sidewalks, if necessary.
Don’t Forget Your Pets
When the weather gets cold, take care of your pets. Bring them inside, or make sure they have adequate shelter and unfrozen water, if they are outdoors.
If you need help financing any home repairs or projects, a Home Equity Line of Credit may be the answer. Contact your local Merchants Bank location today.
Tips compiled from emergency.cdc.gov, bobvila.com and kiplinger.com.
Loans are subject to credit approval.
Have you ever stopped to think about how farmers impact your day to day life? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is more affordable in the United States than in any other developed country in the world thanks to our farmers. Plus, the U.S. farmer is the most productive in the history of the world (1).
Matt Schuldt, Market President
At Merchants Bank, our Ag lenders support and partner with farmers every day to help create prosperous farming operations. “I like working with farmers because, for one thing, I grew up on a farm. My dad had 50 head of black Angus cattle. Farming is not a simple business, and each and every day I continue to learn from our local farmers,” said Matt Schuldt, Market President for Caledonia and Spring Grove.
In honor of harvest this fall, we’ve collected some amazing facts about the farm industry and farmers in the United States. Did you know?
- There are 2.1 million farms in existence in the United States (2). Less than 1% of those farms are certified and exempt organic farms (3).
- The average farm size is 434 acres (4).
- Only 45% of farmers claim farming as their primary occupation (5).
- 30% of farms are operated by at least one woman (2).
- Farmers work an average of 9.91 hours per day on weekdays and 10.24 hours per day on weekends and holidays (6).
- Minnesota farms rank first in production of green peas, red kidney beans, sugar beets, sweet corn and turkeys, (7) while Wisconsin farms rank first in production of cheese, milk goats, mink pellets, corn, cranberries and snap peas (8).
- In 2015, the U.S. pork and poultry industries will produce a record 95 million pounds of meat (9).
Brian Hokanson, Ag Lender
We wish all of our ag customers a successful harvest. According to Brian Hokanson, Ag Lender in Cannon Falls and Red Wing, the harvest outlook is positive so far, “In this region, the start of harvest has been excellent. Yields are coming in better than expected and while prices on commodities, specifically corn and soybean are down, yields are giving everyone a little bit of hope for fall.”
For more information on financing, equipment loans and leases and other opportunities for your farm or business, contact an Ag Loan Officer at your local Merchants Bank.
Loans are subject to credit approval.
Are you a business owner looking for convenience? Would you like to decrease your number of trips to the bank during the cold winter months? You don’t need to look any further than Merchants Bank and the convenience provided by Deposit-on-Demand.
Merchants Deposit-On-Demand is a cash management tool which allows you to convert paper checks to images, which are transmitted to the Bank for deposit. Using a scanner and software provided by Merchants Bank, you can reduce the time it takes to create a deposit and eliminate the need to drive to the Bank to make your deposit.
How does Deposit-On-Demand work?
- Paper checks are converted to images and then electronically transmitted to the Bank.
- Same day availability cut-off times will be extended to 6:00 pm (CST).
- Businesses can access images of checks deposited at their own computer for up to 7 years after contracting with the service.
- Faster deposit creation and character amount and legal amount recognition to reduce hand keying or using remittance advices to automate receivables posting.
You are a perfect candidate for implementing Deposit-On-Demand if:
- Your business doesn’t deal with a lot of cash
- Your business is geographically challenged! (Not located near a Merchants Bank branch.)
- Your business has few personnel available to take deposits to the Bank
- Your business receives checks throughout the day and would like to get multiple deposits to the Bank without making multiple trips to the Bank.
- You want to save money on service charges associated with deposited items.
- Your business has higher receivable volume and wants to take advantage of today’s technology and add efficiency to the deposit and posting process.
Please Contact Us to learn how Merchants cash management can help your business. Or, give us a call at (800) 944-6285 to speak with one of our Cash Management Specialists.