Getting ready for fall and winter can sound like a chore. However with a few simple tips and tricks, getting it done can be quick and will pay off, big time for homeowners. The most important aspect of getting ready is that all of the appropriate maintenance has been performed to keep your home in top shape before the snow flies.
There are a few major things to remember when it comes to cold weather. A large part of getting ready for fall is to prepare your outdoor landscapes for the harsh reality that is Canadian winter, including (but not limited to) storing patio furniture, wrapping cedar trees and putting away decorative items that could be damaged. Freezing water can cause damage to concrete, metal pipes, gutters and landscapes and the thaw/freeze cycle can worsen the damage so while cleaning gutters and downspouts probably isn't a job you're looking forward to, this is one of the most important tasks on your fall home maintenance checklist.
Here are a few other tips, and suggested areas to focus on in order to winterize your home this year:
Pool Area & Patio
If you have a pool and patio area, you might want to start here. In order to continue to keep enjoying your pool next year, it needs to be properly winterized and maintained to keep its’ condition. Firstly, the pool needs to be drained, and all pipes/hoses must be unhooked and drained as well. Purchase a pool winterizing kit in order to protect the pool and it’s liner for the year. If a pool isn't properly closed it can be costly, not to mention cost you precious pool time next season (can you tell we're already thinking of next summer?).
Another thing that needs to be protected is patio furniture and outdoor decor. Ideally, with a quick clean up of the garage you can make room for your patio furniture and still have room for your vehicle. If you don't have room in the garage or storage shed stacking and tarping larger pieces in an area that isn't too exposed to the elements is a good back up solution. Items like cushions, rugs as well as ceramic and glass items should be stored in a dry area to prevent damage over the winter months from moisture.
Gardens & Flower Beds
In order to have beautiful, blooming flower beds come springtime, you should do a bit of work now. Weeding and tilling the soil in the beds will ensure uninterrupted growth come spring, and the soil will be clear. Prune any dead tree limbs and remove branches that could cause damage to your property. Some areas of your garden will need to be reseeded, and/or bulbs planted for spring while perennial plants will not require reseeding. Gather up lawn maintenance tools and ensure they are properly cleaned and stored for the winter months as well to have them in optimal condition in the spring.
Shut off outdoor water valves and drain out hoses to help avoid frozen pipes and hoses once the frost sets in.
Whether you store your barbeque away for the winter, or you use it all year round, it is always a good thing to perform annual maintenance on in order to extend its lifespan. Before winter, plan on giving the grill a good cleaning, replacing any burners or racks as necessary. Store your propane tank in a safe area, and find a covered area to keep it.
Check the condition of your snow blower, and ensure that it is working and you have fuel on hand ahead of time. When that first snowfall comes ,regardless of how much home maintenance you've done, it always seems to come too soon! To be truly ready for Jack Frost, you might also stock up on salt and ice melter, dig out those snow shovels and of course the window scraper, brushes and winter mats for your vehicles.
With these tips when that first winter storm hits you'll be sipping hot chocolate by a cozy fire rather than scrambling. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely autumn season!