Winter can be tough on your home, but if you plan ahead you can avoid costly damage and keep your home protected. Check out these tips to get the outside of your home and outdoor yard tools ready for the season.
Store Summer Tools Properly: Getting your summer tools stored properly is key. A power tool that will be sitting all winter has a specific way it needs to be prepped for the long rest. Make sure all power tools are either drained of gasoline or have long-term fuel stabilizers in them. Now’s also a good time to clean and lubricate moving parts. This goes for non-power tools as well, things like loppers & shears, rakes, and shovels.
Pull out the Winter Tools: While you’re putting summer tools away, it’s a good time to get winter tools out. Get your snow blowers ready, filled with gas and oil, and make sure seasonal maintenance is done. For snow shovels, make sure they are in good order, and that there haven’t been any cracks in the handle, shaft, or blade. There’s nothing worse than having a huge snowstorm and finding only then that you don’t have the tools to dig yourself out.
Drain Hoses, Faucets, and Timers: Any residual water can freeze, even if stored in a shed, and cause damage. So, when collecting these things, give them a shake to make sure all the water is out.
Covering and insulating your faucets is recommended: Hose faucet insulators are inexpensive, but keep faucets from freezing and bursting, which could cause flooding to your home or yard. You’ll also want to store any pots or planters, as those can freeze and break during heavy cold spells.
Home Inspection: Next, go around your home and make sure all is in good order. Inspect your deck or balconies to make sure they’re stable and able to handle heavy snow. It’s also a good idea to clean the gutters on your roof and street so melting snow can run off properly without pooling up. While you’re on the roof, check if any heat tape—which helps melt ice—is working.
Finally, inspect the driveway for cracks, as these can grow worse from the freezing moisture.
The following items are all part of a checklist to prevent catastrophic damage if properly implemented.