To protect your investment, finish your home’s winterizing projects before the temperatures get too cold. Here is a list of tasks that focus on the exterior of your home to prepare for cold weather.
Gather Patio Furniture and Garden Supplies
Before winter arrives, you’ll want to bring patio furniture inside to protect it from the elements. Umbrellas, furniture, outdoor rugs, and decorative throw pillows should be stored indoors or covered with a tarp when the weather is cold. Wipe items down so they’re free of dirt and insects. Make any repairs and touch up the paint so your lawn furnishings will be ready to use when spring arrives.
Prepare for Cold Weather by Protecting Your Spigots
The water inside your faucet (or hose bib) on the side of your house can freeze when the temperature drops, damaging fixtures and causing pipes to burst. To prevent your outside faucets from freezing, first, turn off the water to the spigot. Find the shut-off valve and tighten it completely. Next, turn on the tap to completely drain the hose bib of water.
If you live in a climate where freezing is a common occurrence, install a frost-free hose bib. Unlike traditional faucets with the shut-off valve directly behind the handle, a frost-free hose bib has a longer pipe that extends the shut-off valve further into the house where it’s warmer. A frost-freeze faucet has a pipe that sits at a downward angle to allow water to run out instead of being trapped inside where it could freeze.
Is Your Garden Ready for Winter?
Gardening season is coming to an end. Gather any tools from the yard and clean and oil them before storing away for winter. Empty water from birdbaths and drain the garden hose. Store garden items indoors or in a shed while it’s cold. If you have clay or ceramic planters outdoors, clean them out and store them inside. Terra cotta can absorb water and crack in freezing weather.
To prepare your lawn for cold weather, aerate and reseed it. You can use a winterizing fertilizer to help promote strong growth in the spring. After the last mowing of fall, wash and service your lawnmower before parking it in the garage for the season.
Trim Trees to Prepare for Cold Weather
In the case of dead or dying branches, trim them before a winter storm takes them down. Prioritize any limbs that are overhanging your house, driveway, or power lines.
Inspect Weatherstripping on Windows and Exterior Doors
Check your home’s windows and doors for air leaks. An easy way to observe air-flow is with a lit candle. Standing inside the house, trace the candle around the window or door frame and watch for the flame to move. Replace weatherstripping or add caulk in cracks to stop air leaks and heat your home more efficiently.
By taking steps to prepare for cold weather, your home will be better outfitted to stand up to winter temperatures. Your tools and outdoor items will be in excellent condition and ready to use next spring.