There are two sides to every story and there are two sides to every home: inside and outside. So, as winter approaches, it’s time to prepare. You can find my indoor winterizing here. Read on if you’ve got some outdoor spaces that might need your attention as well.
Snow and ice can accumulate on dead or torn tree branches, making them heavy. When the right gust of wind blows, this can lead to a broken roof, window or car – not to mention the fact that the branches could hit a person. So this is serious.
The first thing you want to do is to walk around the exterior of your home and look for fallen branches. Pile them up and get rid of them before the windy weather hits. If you have tall, mature trees hanging over your roof, driveway or walkways, you might want to call a professional tree-trimming company to come and assess your situation.
Outdoor Furniture Fixes
f you live in an area which experiences extreme weather, it would be ideal to store all of your outdoor furniture inside during the colder months – whether that means in your home, garage, a shed or in a storage unit. Not only can these items blow away and cause damage, they can also rust and break in colder, wet weather.
Of course, sometimes bringing big outdoor furniture indoors isn’t possible. If that’s the case, you’ll still want to give it some love before the snow starts to fall. Depending on what material they’re made from, your furniture might benefit from one of the many weatherproofing sprays available. Another option is to cover your pieces with a weighted tarp. Secure the bottom of the tarp around the legs of the furniture using heavy-duty rubber bands or bungee cords. Your little tent may be a bit of an eyesore, but you’ll be thanking me when spring rolls around and things are still looking good.
Cover Those Faucets!
This is a crucial step in winterizing your home. Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes and burst pipes can lead to expensive repairs and showering at the gym. Yuck. So, to avoid all of that, locate the water valves that correspond to each of your outside water faucets. Turn them valves fully into their “OFF” positions. Next, go outside and open your faucets, draining any excess water already present in the pipes. Once that’s completed, close the drain cap tight. Lastly, you consider buying insulated covers for your faucets, which will help prevent any further freezing.
It’s the Little Things
Once the big stuff is sealed and protected, any smaller items should be addressed. Flower pots, lawn ornaments, kids’ toys and bird feeders all have the potential to freeze and break, or to be blown around by strong winds. Storing these items indoors is safer for your stuff and for any loved ones who might be playing out in the snow.
And voila, you’re done! You’ve tackled the essentials and now you can focus on the real joys of winter: cozy fires, good movies and books, and hot chocolate. Baileys optional…
Photo 2-Julia Dwyer Sullivan