(BPT) - As temperatures drop, you're reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. Before the first flurries fly, it's important to take some winterization steps to ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings.
This five-point checklist will help safeguard your home against winter's woes for another year. For additional winterization ideas and detailed project plans, visit Real Cedar.com.
Inspect each window from the outside to see if any gaps or cracks are present. These small openings let in cold air and are also inviting to small critters looking for protection from the cold.
If you find some gaps, it’s important to seal them quickly. Apply caulk to the openings to prevent cold air from seeping in, helping to cut down on heating bills. Plus, you won’t have to worry about bugs making your home their hibernation haven. Note: never caulk above or below the window and door openings, as this may block moisture drainage.
Prep the deck
The amount of work you have to put into winterizing your deck depends on your decking material. For example, a durable, long-lasting material such as Western Red Cedar requires the least amount of maintenance. That said, all decks require some upkeep.
To preserve your deck’s luster, start by cleaning it with a warm, soapy solution and a soft-bristle brush. Do not power wash as this can damage the wood. It’s important that you remove all dirt and debris from the surface as well as in between the boards to improve ventilation.
Next, inspect the deck for mold. If present, wash the deck with a mild oxygen bleach solution and leave on the surface for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Finally, remove anything that might leave marks on the deck’s surface such as furniture, planters and mats.
Protect planter boxes
The majority of planter boxes are made with Western Red Cedar. That’s because the wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects; and therefore, doesn’t require treatment from potentially dangerous chemicals that can leach into soil and plants. But like all garden beds, real cedar planters need protection during the winter months.
Start by removing all soil and cleaning the boxes as you did the deck. Then, if possible, store emptied planters in a garage, shed or under the porch. If you don't have the space to store them this way, then cover them with a water-repellent tarp to protect from moisture buildup, but don’t seal the tarp. As with decks, it’s very important that you allow for proper ventilation.
Look for weak trees or those with dead branches, particularly those near your home. As snow accumulates, the weight may bring down a tree or branches, potentially damaging your house.
Eliminate this risk by removing any dead trees or dangerous branches now before the first snow. Be safe by using the proper equipment for tree trimming and removal, or, consider hiring a pro to do so. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and handling this issue now could prevent costly damage to your home down the road.
Clean the roof
Your roof is a large portion of your home, and it also holds a lot of snow over the winter. To prevent ice dams and other roof problems when freezing temperatures arrive, it's important to clean gutters and check your roof for problems now.
Start by taking all debris out of gutters to ensure free flow for water. Next, walk around your roof and inspect it for any damage. Repair loose shingles and make sure the chimney and vents look intact and secure. Your roof takes on a lot of weight from ice and snow during the winter months and you want it to be as strong as possible.
A few simple steps now can mean a cozy, safe winter for you and your entire family. Add these five steps to your winterization to-do list for this weekend and give yourself valuable peace of mind.
(BPT) - From Sunday picnics and impromptu barbecues to games of catch, make your lawn center stage this spring. Everyone longs for a lush, green lawn, but many homeowners aren’t sure how to achieve it. In fact, although 81 percent of Americans do their own lawn care, 69 percent say their lawns could be better, and nearly a third aren’t sure how to grow a healthy lawn, according to a survey by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
A strong, green lawn can give back to you in so many ways and getting there is easier than you think. The lawn health experts at Scotts(R) say the keys to a great lawn are seed, weed and feed.
Did winter do a number on your lawn? Heavy foot traffic, plows, snow shovels and salt can damage your turf, and after the first melt visible dirt spots and dead zones may appear. When spring temperatures reach 60 degrees or higher, seeds will germinate best and it’s time to repair winter damage.
Patch and repair your lawn to fill in bare spots, help crowd out weeds and strengthen your grass to help withstand heat and drought. Start by removing debris and dead grass in the surrounding area, and loosen hard soil, this will help grass seedlings take root.
Evenly apply a quality seed, like Scotts(R) EZ Seed(R), so the bare area is mostly covered, but bare ground is still visible. Be sure to only apply the recommended amount so that seedlings have enough space to access water and nutrients. Scotts(R) EZ Seed(R) is a combination of fertilizer, grass seed and super absorbent mulch that is guaranteed to grow grass anywhere with proper care, whether on a hill or slope, or in a densely-shaded area.
Preserve your healthy and beautiful lawn by keeping it free of weeds. Common weeds like dandelions and clover can choke out healthy grass. Therefore, it’s important to address weeds in spring so they won’t have a chance to thrive in summer.
Removing weeds can be a challenge, especially if any roots are left behind as they can quickly grow into a new plant. Get rid of weeds by using a weed-control product like the improved Scotts(R) Turf Builder(R) Weed & Feed. It is formulated with up to two times more powerful control of dandelions and clover compared to the previous formula, so it kills weeds and feeds grass to make it green and thick.
Continuing to feed your established lawn is critical to its nutrition and overall success. Your lawn requires feeding about every six weeks, and its nutritional needs will vary throughout the season. Choosing the right food at the right time can help ensure your lawn stays thick and green all spring and summer. For example, if your yard needs a boost towards the end of spring use Scotts(R) Green Max(RM) Lawn Food, it provides your lawn with essential nutrients, like iron, that give grass its rich green color in just three days.
No two lawns are alike. A number of factors including where you live or whether you have a sunny or shady backyard affect how to treat your grass. Not sure which products are right? Download the MyLawn app from Scotts(R) for a personalized care plan that will help you achieve your desired results. To make the most out of your green space, visit www.scotts.com for inspiration and information on lawn care products.
Winter conditions can present a wide range of challenges to your lawn and landscape, but there are precautions you can take to protect your lawn, as well as your trees and shrubs, from seasonal harm. These preventative steps can help your lawn survive the winter season’s harsh elements, including snow plow damage, cold temperature stress, freezing temperatures, winter dehydration and ice melt.
Dodge Winter Lawn Damage
(Family Features) Winter conditions can present a wide range of challenges to your lawn and landscape, but there are precautions you can take to protect your lawn, as well as your trees and shrubs, from seasonal harm.
Preventive steps from the lawncare experts at TruGreen can help your lawn survive the winter season’s harsh elements.
Snow Plow Damage
Cold Temperature Stress
Keep twigs and limbs from breaking under the weight of ice by carefully brushing away, whenever possible, any snow load from plants, which will reduce the weight on the limbs and decrease the damage. Placing a burlap cover around shrubs such as boxwood and yews will help reduce winter desiccation.
Find more advice to help prep your lawn for winter at TruGreen.com.
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