Guest Post Written by Seth Murphy from papadiy.com.
Winter is underrated. Sure, it signals the end of warm weather. On the other hand, it slows the spread of pests, kills crops blights, and helps plants and trees to thrive come spring. So welcome the arrival of our blustery friend, but make sure your home and garden are ready for the change of seasons by using the following tips:
● Protect your home’s plumbing from freezing temperatures by filling gaps in your foundation walls, insulating your pipes, turning off outside taps, and storing your garden hose someplace safe. Do you have a sprinkler system? If so, then have a professional purge it of water with a commercial-grade compressor. You can also use a consumer-grade compressor if you go section by section, according to Family Handyman.
● Check your home’s exterior for issues that could lead to problems during severe weather. Loose or missing roof shingles could cause leaks or even lead to extensive ceiling damage. Call a pro to deal with roof problems unless you’re sure of your ability to handle them yourself.
● Remove summer bulbs and store them inside until spring. Now is the time to plant autumn bulbs and collect seeds from your annuals to use next year. Add a layer of compost around perennials to nourish and insulate them from frigid temperatures, snow and ice storms. You may mulch in the areas close to perennials, but packing mulch around their bases can trap excess moisture in the ground and lead to root rot. If you do apply mulch directly over perennials, then wait until the first good freeze to do so.
● Move potted plants off of paved areas and onto soil. This will help to ensure consistent temperatures throughout the container during the winter. Subjecting vegetation to the changes inherent in the freeze/thaw cycle can kill immature roots, according to Home & Garden.
● Consider using frost blankets for vulnerable plants. These products take the edge off of frost’s chilly embrace by creating a still air space around branches.
Prepping Your Garage for Winter’s Wrath
There are many good reasons to ready your garage for the winter season, according to Popular Mechanics. Many of your tools and supplies can suffer damage from prolonged cold. For example, once paint freezes, it becomes useless, even after thawing out. Certain types of fuel can gel and fail to work when you need them most. Water trapped in pressure washer and hose lines will expand if frozen and cause internal damage. Here are four ways to prevent these kinds of problems:
1. Insulate the garage. You can do this yourself with fiberglass batt insulation if you take care to avoid gaps and make sure you’re using the proper thickness for your climate. You can also hire a professional to tackle the job.
2. Install weatherstripping if not already present. If it is, then check it for damage or deterioration and repair as needed.
3. Insulate your garage door if necessary. Some models come with insulation pre-installed at the factory. Check with your dealer or the manufacturer if you’re unsure.
4. Heat the garage. You’ll find unit heaters on the market for this purpose. A heated garage can serve as a workshop during the winter. Gas heaters cost less to operate, but they require a gas line and take longer to install than electric models. It’s best to leave this task to a pro.
Winter is almost upon us. So take the time now to prepare your home and your property for this annual visitor. Your efforts will reward you with comfort, warmth, and peace of mind during the months to come.
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