Every season has its unique challenges, but no other requires more preparation than winter. As nightly frigid temperatures become a reality, prepare your home and yard for winter with these helpful tips.
Prepare Your Home for Frigid Temperatures
- Seal air leaks: Windows and doors are the most obvious sources of air leaks in your home. These create uncomfortable drafts and make your furnace work harder. Keep more heated air inside by replacing worn weather stripping in movable window and door joints. Then re-caulk areas around window and doorframes that have begun to crack.
- Add insulation: When was the last time you paid the attic a visit? Check out the space and decide if you could use an extra layer of insulation. As a rule of thumb, if you can see the floorboards or tops of the rafters poking through, you could benefit from adding another layer. Pipes can also benefit from added insulation, both in terms of improving energy efficiency and preventing frozen pipes.
- Change the furnace filter: Cold weather means your furnace will be running a lot more often. Change the filter to promote proper airflow and help trap airborne pollutants so they don’t circulate around your home.
- Have your furnace tuned up: Every fall, you should have a qualified HVAC contractor stop by to tune up your furnace. Even in the middle of winter, it’s not too late to have your furnace maintained. The improved performance will save you money and help your home stay more comfortable for the rest of the season.
- Stock up on emergency supplies: Whether frigid temperatures keep you from wanting to go grocery shopping or they completely knock out the power, it’s wise to have an emergency kit on hand. Include water bottles, food you can eat without refrigeration or cooking, warm clothing, flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit and basic medicine, and a weather radio in your emergency supply kit.
Prepare Your Yard for Frigid Temperatures
- Blow out the sprinklers: If you haven’t already done so, have your sprinkler system blown out so excess water isn’t trapped in underground pipes. Once a hard freeze sets in, sprinkler lines that are still full of water could burst.
- Put garden hoses away: Pack up all garden hoses and turn off exterior water spigots to prevent freezing, expanding ice from causing damage.
- Winterize your lawn mower: If the gasoline in your lawn mower has a fuel preservative in it, you can plan to store leftover fuel in the mower until spring. Otherwise, empty the lawn mower to prevent chemical components in the gasoline from separating over the long winter months. After siphoning out as much fuel as possible, run the mower briefly to empty it completely.
- Assess your snow shovels: Frigid temperatures often bring snow, so your shovels should be ready to remove snow from the driveway and sidewalks. Clean up any ragged aluminum or plastic edges with a file. If the handle is coming loose, replace the cheap sheet-metal screw with a larger one.
- Apply fall fertilizer: Fall is a great time to fertilize your grass. Choose a high-nitrogen fertilizer blend containing extra potassium to improve your lawn’s cold hardiness and help it bounce back sooner in the spring.
- Stock up on road salt: Icy sidewalks and driveways are accidents waiting to happen. Keep your own supply of road salt on hand and sprinkle a handful on icy patches to speed up the melting process and help you avoid painful slips and falls.
For more winter weather tips or to schedule snow and ice removal services, please contact The Grounds Guys® today.