Getting ready for fall can sound like a chore. Taking care of your home is a big responsibility, however with a few simple tips and tricks, getting ready for fall can be quick and simple. The important aspect of getting ready for fall is to ensure that your home is fall and winter read, and that all the appropriate maintenance has been performed to keep your home in top shape before the snow begins to fall.
There are a few major things to remember when it comes to winter. The wind blows harder during the winter than it does at any other time of the year. This means, that it is also more damaging. Freezing water can cause damage to concrete, metal pipes, gutters and landscapes and the thaw/freeze cycle can worsen the damage depending on what area you live in. A large part of getting ready for fall is to prepare your outdoor landscapes for the harsh reality that is winter, including (but not limited to) storing patio furniture, wrapping cedar trees, cleaning gutters and downspouts, putting away decorative items that could be damaged etc. The following are a few tips, and suggested areas to focus on in order to winterize your home this year:
Pool Area & Patio
If you have a pool and patio area, this is a major focus of winterization. In order to continue to enjoy the pool the following year, it needs to be properly winterized and maintained to keep its’ condition. Firstly, the pool needs to be drained, and all pipes/hoses must be unhooked and drained as well. Purchase a pool winterizing kit in order to protect the pool and it’s liner for the year. Follow the instructions within the pool winterizing kit for the most detailed information.
Another thing that needs to be protected from winter’s elements and stored away is all patio furniture that you may have had out this summer. This may require a quick clean up of the garage in order to make room to store the furniture. You want to be sure that any cushions are stored where it is dry, to prevent damage over the winter months from moisture, and that furniture is stored away from the weathering effects of winter conditions.
Gardens & Flower Beds
In order to have beautiful, blooming flower beds come springtime, you need to do a bit of work to prepare your flower beds and garden for winter. Weeding and tilling the soil in the beds will ensure uninterrupted growth come spring, and the soil will be clear. Prune any dead tree limbs and remove branches that could cause damage to your property should there be an ice storm. Some areas of your garden will need to be reseeded, and/or bulbs planted for spring while perennial plants will not require reseeding. Gather up lawn maintenance tools and ensure they are properly cleaned and stored for the winter months as well to have them in optimal condition in the spring.
Shut off outdoor water valves and drain out hoses so they can be properly stored away for next year, and avoid the situation of frozen pipes and hoses once the frost sets in.
Whether you store your barbeque away for the winter, or you use it all year round, it is always a good thing to perform annual maintenance on in order to extend its lifespan. Before winter, plan on giving the grill a good cleaning, replacing any burners or racks as necessary. Store your propane tank in a safe area, and ensure your BBQ is covered or stored in a shed for the winter months to avoid damage from snow, salt, and ice.
As much as winterizing your home and outdoor areas is important, it is also crucial that you are prepared for the winter months before they arrive. Buy new salt, and dig out those old snow shovels. You want to be sure that you are prepared for the first winter storm, rather than scrambling to find your snowbrush and shovel when the first snowfall happens. Check the condition of your snow blower, and ensure that is working and there is spare gas ahead of time. Don’t be stuck trying to sort it out in a cold garage once winter has set in, be prepared!