Tips to Winterize Your Property And The Exterior of Your Home
Most tips on how to winterize property focus on what to do indoors, but you should also know how to winterize property outdoors. Preparing for the winter will ensure that your property stays safe and sound through those long cold months.
When you take the time to winterize property outdoors you can rest easy throughout the winter knowing that you did all you could to protect your property. Doing all the outside things that need to be done can save you a substantial amount of money. DIY projects to winterize property comes in at substantial savings because you are not paying for labor.
Tips to Winterize Property Outdoors to Keep Indoors More Comfortable
When you winterize property outdoors you can actually help to cut down on heating cost and increase comfort indoors. Consider how big a role your roof plays in keeping your home comfortable year-round. Your roof is your home’s first-line defense against the elements. Making sure that your roof is ready for the winter can save you on energy costs and can help you to avoid tons of stress.
Most roofing companies offer roof maintenance services that can quickly get your roof into top condition and help winterize property. A quick inspection of your roof will reveal if there is any need to make small repairs or improvements. Starting at the top will ensure that everything that falls under it is safe and secure, and ready for the winter.
Part of your roof is your chimney. If you use a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace, you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year before you light that first fire. Creosote builds up in the chimney and can catch on fire. A chimney fire is very dangerous. Have your roofing expert check out your chimney for any cracks or necessary repairs, then have a chimney sweep company clean the interior of your chimney.
Once you get your roof situation squared away, it is time to move on to other areas outside the home that will affect your comfort and or safety this winter. For example, dealing with trees that need to be trimmed.
The rain, snow, and ice can bring down those vicarious limbs that are hanging over your home and other structures. Consider hiring a professional tree trimming service to help manage the trees that surround your home. It is always better to be proactive than it is to be reactive. Taking care of any problem limbs now will ensure that you do not have to deal with the damage and mess after that winter storm blows in.
For the last two activities (roofing, tree trimming) it is strongly suggested that you hire a trusted company to manage, simply because there are tremendous safety risks involved with each activity. There are still plenty of things you can do as a DIY project to winterize property.
Get Out Your Paint Brush
Exterior painting in the fall is a great way to winterize property. Paint acts as a thin insulator that can seal up thin cracks and keep the cold out. Painting the exterior of your home is something that you can easily do on your own. If you don’t have the time nor the inclination, then hire a paint company to manage it for you.
Exterior paint helps to keep the elements out and it adds value to your home. Consider it just a normal part of home maintenance and a way to winterize property that comes with added benefits. If you can’t manage the entire project this fall, consider painting the foundation where cold air can seep in.
Its Clean Up Time
When you winterize property outdoors part of the process is putting away all the things that you won’t be using during the winter. For example, if you want to preserve your patio furniture either store it or move it to the side and cover it.
If you are like most people, you have accumulated some stuff that you need to get rid of over the spring and summer months. Arrange for bulk garbage collection to get rid of big items, like that grill that has seen its last season, and pack up what you can to put out on the curb.
While we are on the subject of garbage collection, while leaves, and yard waste is not typically considered garbage you will need to clear the debris and get rid of it. Before you light that match, if you plan on burning leaves, make sure that there are no fire restrictions or bans in your area. Most garbage collection services offer yard waste pickup which may be the safer option.
Here are some other cleanup activities you should focus on when you want to winterize property outdoors:
- Check equipment and tools before you put them in the garage. Anything that is not working and cannot be repaired should be discarded. Doing a quick check before you put things away for the season will help you to be ready for next season.
- Do this as part of your heating & cooling maintenance practice year-round. Remove any debris that has piled up against outside HVAC units whether it is leaves in the fall or grass cuttings in the summer. Keeping a clear airflow process is vital to the performance of your equipment.
- Clean your gutters. Debris that built up in your gutters will become frozen and cause your gutters to clog. Snow, rain, and ice will have no place to go but spill over the side. It is bad for your roof and bad for your foundation when water builds up and has no place to go.
Of course, when you want to winterize property it is not only about clearing away the debris and cleaning up, it is about making room for those winter toys as well. If you have both summertime toys and wintertime toys like boating or pool equipment and snowmobile equipment, you are going to have to make some room.
Moving your summer stuff to the back of the garage to make room for your winter stuff is the simplest solution. Be sure you take care to properly store summer equipment and toys. For example, drain all the fuel from boats, jet skis, lawnmowers and other equipment before you store it.
Your Arctic Cat accessories will fit with no problem if you organize everything in your storage space by season that you use it. In the spring you just approach the system by doing things in reverse. A space for everything and everything having space is a good rule of thumb. Get rid of whatever no longer serves a purpose. You may even be able to make a few dollars in the process if you sell your unwanted summer gear.
This is the time that you want to get repairs out of the way that may compromise your energy efficiency. For example, residential garage door repair can help to repair that faulty garage door and help to keep the elements out.
Fall is a great time to address any repairs that you have been putting off that can become worse in the winter or affect the performance of your energy efficiency. It is better to make the repairs now than stress throughout the winter.
Winterize Property With These Simple DIY Projects
Here are some things that need to be done on the exterior to winterize property:
- Disconnect all outside water hoses. Remove water hoses from the spigot then cover the spigot. You can use an old towel and wrap it around the spigot or you can buy a cover for the spigot. It is important that you protect these pipes from the cold.
- Insulate any exposed pipes. Any pipes that are coming into the house should be insulated including your HVAC piping. You can buy foam sleeves that are easy to install around the pipe to protect from the elements. In very cold climates you may want to consider using heat tape.
- Beef up insulation on exterior doors. Make sure you close any gaps in exterior doors by using insulation and weather stripping made for exterior doors.
Taking the steps that you need to take to ensure that all areas outside your home are protected from the cold this winter will help you to reduce the risk of having issues you do not want to deal with like a busted exterior pipe.
Winterize Property To Protect Plants
While your gardens may not be on the top of your list of things to deal with to winterize property this fall, taking a little time to protect it from the winter will pay off in the spring. What can you do to protect your gardens? Here are a few suggestions on ways you can winterize property to preserve your gardens:
- Remove dead leaves and other debris. Dead leaves are a harbinger for fungus and insect invasions. Remove dead leaves from your lawn and your flower beds.
- Mulch can be your garden’s best friend. Cut back what you can like rose bushes and other woody plants than pile on the mulch. While most hardy plants like woody stem plants will simply go dormant and come back to life in the spring, protecting them from all that killing frost can give you better results in the spring. Use mulch to cover at least the roots of all plants.
- Blanket young trees. If you got a late start this year on planting and you suspect that some of your trees are just not that well established yet, give them a little extra TLC and cover their bases with tree blankets. Protecting those young roots will pay off.
Other things that you can do that will help your plants and lawn snuggle in for the long winter nap include, cutting your grass one final time and aerating. Fertilizing everything before you put it all to bed can also help give your plants and lawn a jump start in the spring.
Most people that have outdoor structures on their property do not have heated outdoor structures. How can you winterize property that does not have a heating source? If you have water running to that structure be sure that you turn it off this winter, and take the necessary steps to protect the plumbing.
If you have a pool, part of getting ready for winter is making decisions about how you will protect your pool this winter. Giving some thought to the protection that you use can help to ensure that your pool will make it through the season unscathed.
Here are some tips for dealing with sheds, barns, decks, and other structures:
- Anything that is made of wood should be painted or protected with a sealing agent. Wood is porous which means it will absorb water which can freeze, then defrost and warp the wood. Any wood structure is going to need to be protected. Decks, fences, and buildings should either be painted or stained with a water sealing agent. Keeping the moisture out will protect the wood and thereby keep the structure intact.
- Make sure roofs are in good repair. If the tin roof on your shed is looking a little worse for the wear, consider getting up there and adding a coat of paint and making any other repairs. Whether it is a gazebo, shed or barn if it has a roof that is in disrepair it is in jeopardy of not making it through the winter.
- Semi permanent structures need attention too. If you have one of those grill gazebos or any structure that is semi-permanent, do a quick check to make sure all the connections are tight and the structure is sturdy.
Taking the time to ensure that all your outdoor structures are in good condition and ready for the winter will save you worry and cut down on costs. Typically a few gallons of paint or sealer, some paint rollers, and a turn or two of a wrench can help you to winterize property and keep your outdoor structures safe.
When you winterize property making sure you are doing both indoor and outdoor winterization and you will make sure you are able to face the winter without the worry of property damage or exceedingly high energy bills.