Winter is Coming.......Is your Home Ready?
Stop Your Faucets from Freezing!
It is important to winterize your outdoor faucets in the winter to prevent them from freezing, as freeze damage can destroy the faucet or lead to a burst pipe.
Do you have a Frost Free Faucet?
Do you have a frost free faucet? Here’s how to tell- A rule of thumb is that if the faucet has a knob that’s perpendicular to the house its frost free. This knob, turns a stem inside the faucet that closes a valve inside, directing the water away from the outside of the house back into the inside of the house where it’s warm. It still however, is a good practice to shut your outdoor water off during the winter.
Evacuate your Eaves!
Clean your eaves troughs from any debris such as leaves, twigs, and birds nests which could cause water to collect, freeze, and eventually damage your eaves or roof. To clean your eaves simply sweep the debris out of the trough using a ladder and your hands or a small broom.
Protect your Pool!
The main purpose of winterizing your in-ground swimming pool is to protect it from damage due to freezing water. When water freezes it expands, causing major damage to your pool, your pool plumbing, and its filter system. Ensure your water level is lower than the mouth of your skimmer to prevent water from getting into the skimmer throat. Ensure to also blow out the water from your plumbing lines, you can do this using a shop vac, be sure to put a plug in the lines at the pool end with a rubber gasket or “o” ring to make a good seal. Don’t forget to drain all the water from your filter equipment!
Haul Away your Hoses!
Disconnect all garden hoses from any outdoor faucets, if you leave your garden hose attached to the faucet all winter, your faucet and hose can freeze causing damage and may even lead to a burst pipe.
Guard your Garden!
With winter right around the corner, fall is a great time to winterize your garden to protect it from harmful frost, and make sure it’s ready to go in the spring. Tidy up your garden by removing spent stalks and other plant debris that may become incubators for pests and diseases. Remove any weeds or unwanted plants, divide your perennials and dig up and store tender bulbs that may not survive the frost or hungry squirrels and chipmunks.
Batten down your Barrels!
If you have a rain barrel, it is important that you disconnect it from your eaves trough system in the winter to prevent freezing in your eaves trough and in your rain barrel. Rain barrel freezing can often lead to the barrel expanding too far and breaking. If you do not have an indoor or covered area to store your barrels for the winter, simply flip them upside down to ensure no water will be held inside of them. Ensure that once you disconnect your rain barrel, that you reconnect your downspouts to ensure winter precipitation flows away from your foundation.
Guard your Grass!
Fall is a great time to get your grass ready for winter. When winterizing your grass, first evenly spread fertilizer, then aerate your lawn using an aerator that pulls soil spikes out of your lawn. After aerating, spread cool weather grass seed evenly on top of your grass seed. Top dress your lawn with compost and rake it out evenly across your lawn. You can even mulch your leaves to add additional nutrients to your soil for next year.
Protect your Pumps!
Have a pond with a pump? Make sure to remove your pump from your pond in the fall, clean it thoroughly, and store it indoors for the winter. If you have a direct drive style pump then it can be left in the water and protected from freezing. If you have a waterfall filter, it can be left in place but should be drained. If you have a pressurized filter it should be drained and stored somewhere dry for the winter.
Shut off your Sprinkler!
To prevent frozen pipes or leaks it is important to winterize your irrigation system. Check your systems manual for specific details about your irrigation system or consult with your irrigation company for more information.