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How Homeowners Can Prep
Their Outdoor Spaces for the Coming Cold
As it grows colder with the seasons, we naturally spend less time in our backyards and other outdoor spaces. But before you head inside, you should make preparations outside so you can have one less thing to stress about this coming winter.
When winterizing your outdoor spaces, keep curb appeal in mind, especially if you plan to list your home on the market soon. Curb appeal can play into your home’s appraisal value. You’ll also attract more buyers if your home looks good from the road. In any case, as it starts to get cold outside, you should make sure your outdoor spaces are ready for the temperature change. Realtor Theresa Donley presents some tips that can help you get prepared.
Mind your fences
Good fences make good neighbors, and bad fences make mad homeowners. Don’t forget about your property’s fences, one of the most important things to prep before winter arrives.
Start off by giving your fence a proper cleaning. Use a medium-firm scrub to remove dirt, grime, mildew, and other particulates and stains. A clean fence is a healthier fence. Pressure washers are fun, but if you’re on a budget, it’s best to just use some elbow grease. While cleaning, check for areas of rot that may need to be replaced. Atlanta Post Caps recommends caulking in between wood to prevent it from being damaged by the moisture that would collect there otherwise.
Next, determine if the wood used to build your fence has been pressure treated. If not, you will need to do some extra maintenance. You should apply a water-repellent sealant to keep moisture out and reduce weathering. Of course, you can always hire a professional to pressure treat the wood, which will lengthen your fence’s lifespan.
As the weather changes, the wood in your fence will change as well - expanding and contracting as temperatures fluctuate. Check your fence for falling knots, which happens when the wood expands and contracts. If left unchecked, holes in your fence can lead to rot and insect damage.
Get your mind in the gutter
Cleaning your gutters isn’t all that fun. If you don’t have the heart for it or you don’t have the time, you should hire someone. Of course, finding a reputable, well-reviewed contractor is essential; use sites like Angi to search for “gutter cleaners near me” who have received high ratings from the customers they’ve helped in the past.
Clean gutters can do their job of diverting water away from your home (roof, exterior siding, and foundation), while gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can’t. This can lead to leaks, flooding, and exterior damage. After your gutters are cleaned, make sure you cover the openings with mesh grates. This will help keep leaves from getting caught in them and will help them function properly during the fall and winter months.
Break down your outdoor water sources
If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system, you need to break it down and get it ready for winter. You should do this before the first frost in the fall. You’ll want to insulate above-ground piping and any water valves outdoors. Shut off the main water supply to your sprinkler system and call in a professional to properly drain the entire system.
Not everybody has an irrigation system, but everyone has a garden hose. Drain your hose, disconnect it from the outdoor spigot, and cover the spigot to protect it from freezing temperatures. Remember to shut off the main water supply to each individual outdoor spigot.
A little bit of prep now can save you loads of stress and a lot of cash down the road. Don’t wait until the leaves have all fallen. Now is the perfect time to weatherize your outdoor spaces in preparation for the coming season.