Friday, September 26, 2008

More Winter Tips!

Since I'm on a roll here with the winterization of your house I figured I'd touch on a few overlooked items to be aware of. Let's touch upon lawn and garden items, shall we? First off, it's not a no brainer but, make sure you drain your garden hose completely before bringing it indoors to either your basement or garage. Removing the water will ensure no ice will form inside the hose to potentially rip it open if it's against a frigid wall in an unheated area (ie: garage, shed). Next, if you have a plastic hose cart or reel I would bring that in also to avoid cracking if accidentally hit by something hard in freezing temps. Hey, maybe one of those icicles might hit it! Give all your garden tools that are metal a light spray of WD40 to help fight rusting for a few months of non-use. Store long handle tools handle side down on some kind of barrier to keep out moisture from wooden handles if you are unable to hang them up. If you keep the tool end up it is less likely to acquire moisture from the floor or deck. This is also a good time to clean out that shed or garage. The cool temps make this job easier than in the summer.
Once all the leaves are taken care of you should put all your tools away as I have shown, you won't be using them for months. Put your snow shovel in a convenient location but not under foot. Keep it where, if you get a bad sudden storm, you can dig your way out of the house. A shovel in the shed is no good if you can't get to it. Lastly, your gas powered yard tools. Your lawnmower, string trimmer, power washer, etc. These need to be winterized. The lawnmower, trimmer and stored gasoline just need a fuel saver to keep out moisture during the long period of non-use, the power washer also needs this treatment as well as a moisture resistant flush of the pump system. This treatment can be obtained at any Sears store in the Lawn & Garden area, it's not cheap but it will prevent hard water damage that could kill your washer while standing for a long time unused and that means lots of money saved. You can get a few treatments out of one can. Lastly, keep rock salt or pellet melters in an easy to get to location to eliminate ice during snow removal and to keep stairs ice free. Hospitals cost LOTS of money, avoid at all costs! Also, if you store items in a shed make sure you remove ALL cardboard, paper, rags, bags, etc. Field mice and rats like to burrow up into sheds for protection during the winter(I know first hand) and they look for bedding material from these items. Without these items the critters may look elsewhere for a winter home and take their droppings with them.
One last thing, for people who own one, make sure you can start your snow blower. If for some reason it will not operate, now is the time to get it to a repair station. I'm sure there will be more to follow!

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