A little preparation during the final days of fall can prevent many headaches and chilly emergency repairs. Here are some tips to prepare your yard and landscape for winter:
- Last winter, rapid accumulation of heavy snows damaged many flat roofs. If your house has a flat roof, make sure that you purchase a roof rake ahead of time, or contract with a snow removal company that offers roof clearing services.
- Disconnect and drain any rain barrels to prevent freezing and cracking. The empty barrels can be very lightweight, so make sure that they are secured so they don’t blow away in heavy winds.
- Inspect and clean the gutters and drainage systems. If you have a basement sump pump that drains into a dry well or exterior drainage system, it should have an overflow in case the system freezes up.
- Before the ground freezes, check the grading of soil around house foundations and behind retaining walls. When heavy spring rains come, you want the water to flow away from your house, and not to get trapped in a low point behind a wall.
- Inspect trees for cracked, dead, or broken branches that might damage your house or vehicles.
- Shut off water to outdoor faucets, then open the faucet so that any remaining water can drain out. Drain and store garden hoses and drip tubing. Have irrigation systems drained.
- Stock up on ice melt, selecting one that meets your family’s needs. Salt will damage concrete, so read labels carefully to select the appropriate product. Ice melt with magnesium chloride or magnesium acetate as the active ingredient will damage plants less than salt or calcium chloride, though chloride can accumulate in soils and water supplies, and damage plants over time. Chlorides will also irritate pets’ paws and stomachs.
- Shift seasons for your maintenance equipment. Drain gas from the lawn mower. Fuel up the snow-blower, add oil, and check rotor blades, belts, and spark plug. Put away gardening tools, and have snow shovels at hand.
Our crews are available to help with your winter preparations. Drop us a line to schedule a free estimate.