Prepare Your Home for the Colder Months Ahead

August 28, 2015

It seems like we were just welcoming the warm days summer brings by planting our gardens and sitting out in the sunshine on our front porches or patios. The summer months always fly by! Back to school time has already arrived, and Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of summer. This means it’s time to start thinking about getting your home and yard ready for that dreaded “s” word: snow.

Necessary Home Projects to Prepare for Fall and Winter

Of course, we should still have another month or two before it’s actually cold enough to snow. But you should take some time now, while the weather is still pleasant, to start those outdoor home projects. Here are a few of the important tasks to complete around the outside of your home before the snow starts to fall:

  • Clean the gutters. Cleaning the gutters of debris is an important task to complete before those snowstorms arrive, because clogged or damaged gutters can damage your home and possibly cause flooding in your basement when the snow melts. Clear out any leaves and twigs and rinse them out with a hose to flush them out.
  • Protect the patio or deck. Start by sweeping the dirt and leaves off your deck or patio, and then use a power washer to give it a deep clean. If you have a wood deck, seal it up with a high quality sealant or stain.
  • Drain hoses and faucets. Protect your home’s plumbing over the winter by making sure garden hoses and outdoor faucets are emptied of water completely before the cold weather sets in. Stow away hoses in a warm place until the next season, and cover faucets with an insulated faucet cover.
  • Tidy up the yard. Rake up leaves and debris before the snow falls so your grass isn’t smothered underneath them and the snow. Trim off dead or long branches that are touching your home or have grown too close to any power lines.
  • Store the grill and patio furniture. Don’t let the winter weather damage your grill and patio furniture! Properly store these over the winter in the garage or even a self storage unit. At the very least, invest in some sturdy, durable covers that are made to withstand any weather condition. Make sure you clean everything thoroughly before covering it up and putting it away.
  • Bring plants inside. When the temperature drops under 50 degrees, bring any non-native potted plants inside to keep them from dying. It’s recommended to bring them in gradually, starting with just overnight, to not “shock” them. Also, make sure to inspect them for insects first!
  • Install new doors and/or windows. True, this can be a somewhat expensive home project, but it’s worth the investment! Older doors and windows can be drafty and much less energy-efficient than newer versions. Double or triple-paned windows are recommended, and adding a storm door with full glass to your front door can help prevent drafts. If you can’t afford an upgrade just yet, make sure to caulk up any gaps in the door and window frames.

Now that you’ve completed all your outdoor home projects and your yard is all set, do you feel ready for winter?