Every homeowner needs to keep up with the maintenance of their home in order to ensure that it’s always safe and functional. Most of this work can be completed during the warmer months, but when winter hits, there are still some things you need to do before the snow starts to fall and the temperatures start to drop.
Preparing your Lawn
Maintaining your lawn is a necessary and important part of owning property. Depending on your property’s size, you will want to spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours per week prepping your lawn during winter. Start by preparing all of your tools before beginning. If you have an air compressor, ensure that it has been given time to warm up, and fill it with enough air so that you can perform all required tasks without needing refills mid-job.
Preparing Your Fence
The first step in winterizing your fence is to remove debris from your fence. Hosing down and scraping away leaves, twigs, and other obstructions can help to prevent them from accumulating on your fence in winter months. If you have an ornamental or decorative metal fence, remember that exposure to extreme weather can cause rusting; clear any loose paint or dead leaves now before they turn into mud.
Check your fences annually to ensure your posts are firmly set in concrete; if they are not, it may be time to replace it entirely. Once a year (or more often if needed), line up all of your fences with a level so that each post is exactly vertical—vertical posts are critical for keeping snow from building up and sliding off of roof overhangs onto fences!
Preparing your Driveway
If you want to avoid shoveling your driveway, pave it. That way, when winter comes around, you’ll be able to keep up with any snowfall with relative ease. But if you do choose to drive on a gravel or dirt driveway, it’s smart to first add a layer of sand or gravel to even out bumps and divots caused by normal wear and tear. This will prevent water from building up at low points in your driveway—which is especially important if you have an automatic pressure system that uses sensors to control sprinklers. Such systems are highly sensitive to moisture; they can detect water almost instantly, even in amounts as small as a single drop.
Preparing Exterior Windows
The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your windows by removing any old caulk or grime that might prevent a good seal. If you have older windows, consider replacing them altogether with new versions; they will be more energy efficient and easy to clean. That’s all there is to it! It’s best to take care of these things now so you don’t have to worry about them later. Good luck out there—and let us know how it goes!
Treating Outdoor Furniture and Wood Decks
Moisture is a wood deck’s worst enemy. Once moisture builds up, it causes warping and cracking, which can lead to rot. To prevent moisture buildup, make sure your deck has plenty of room to breathe, then use a hardwood sealer (and reapply it each spring) to protect against rain and snow damage. Use painter’s tape or paint brushes with plastic bristles when painting around planters or other outdoor accessories—the taping or bristle brush will keep any paint off those surfaces that you don’t want painted, while protecting surfaces you do want painted from splatters.
Gutters can easily get clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, which can lead to costly repairs. It’s important to clean your gutters at least twice a year to ensure they don’t become damaged. If you have trees in your yard, make sure you brush away loose debris before it has a chance to collect on your roof. Raking up leaves or cutting down branches will prevent extra work during future maintenance periods.
Preventing Roof Damage
When winter weather hits, homeowners must take steps to ensure their roofs remain in good condition. To prevent your roof from leaking or sustaining other damage during cold-weather months, follow these steps: thoroughly clean your gutters before snowfall; make sure that chimneys and ventilation systems are properly screened, and check that downspouts drain away from your house. These measures will minimize damage caused by snowfall and rain.