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The How-to’s of Winterizing Your YardNovember 15th, 2013 by
Icy temperatures drive us indoors to bundle up under warm blankets while winter wages war outside. As the joys of summer slip away, it’s important to prepare your backyard for extreme temperatures and harsh weather.
By taking a few preventative steps, your yard can stay intact this season.
When grass moves into winter dormancy, homeowners also get a break from lawn duties. But before you store your lawn mower away, remove any remaining gasoline so that you can replace it with fresh gas at the start of spring.
Also, beat the spring rush by taking your lawn mower in for a tune-up during the winter months. After a blade sharpening, oil change, and engine check, your mower will be ready to tackle spring and summer maintenance.
Take stock of all other lawn tools, and store them in a safe place. Sharpen or clean any items in need of attention. Just like your mower, remove gasoline from lawn equipment, such as weed eaters, at the start of winter.
Installing and maintaining a pool is a major investment and thus important to protect. A pool maintenance specialist can adjust the pool’s pH and chemical levels, clean out any debris, and add a winterizing treatment that will keep the water crisp and blue for next season.
Freezing water expands, which can damage a pool’s mechanical equipment, so you’ll need to take precautionary steps even if you live in a climate that doesn’t experience frequent freezes.
Speak with your maintenance specialist, or refer to manufacturer guidelines for instructions on how to winterize your pool equipment. Finally, cover your pool to keep it secure and clean throughout the winter months.
Every few years, consider draining the pool entirely for the winter and hiring a pressure washer. Pressure washing will improve the look of your pool in addition to removing slippery algae and other pool contaminants.
Not every type of pool should receive this treatment—pressure washing fiberglass and vinyl-lined pools, in particular, should be avoided—so consult with a professional first. Drained pool water can be recycled for irrigation once it has been treated.
For smaller water features and fountains, you may be able to disassemble their components and store them away for the winter. For large or heavy fountains that can’t be moved, certain steps will need to be taken.
Depending on your climate, you may be able to keep your water features running annually. Running water does not freeze as easily as standing water, so if temperatures rarely dip below freezing, the pump will likely remain intact.
In colder climates that experience frequent freezes, a professional can disconnect the pump, drain the water from the reservoir and basin, and cover the fountain for the winter months.
The most important part of winter yard care is to plan in advance. If needed, call in a professional before freezes arrive. Also, acquire any necessary products or tools to winterize your equipment before it gets too cold.