Each season brings a different set of challenges for which we must prepare our homes. Summer and spring bring pests and heat, but fall and the winter season that inevitably follows – may require the most home-related preparation of all. There are many things you can do to ensure your home and its residents are safe, and that you don’t waste money by ignoring potential hazardous damage and pesky cracks in window and door seals. But homeowners preparing their houses for fall and winter must not ignore yard-related tasks either.
The Home Should Come First
Before you get to the yard, make sure that your home is ready for the fall season. Travelers Insurance put together a list of fall home preparations for all homeowners in temperate climates, with some being must-dos and others being only for the most ambitious of preppers.
Some must-do tasks include cleaning gutters and downspouts. This will prevent the accumulation of debris that could eventually clog the gutters and result in costly, potentially permanent damage that could even require replacing an entire gutter system. You will also need to make sure that your heating system is functioning properly before the cold weather sets in.
Also, take the time to insulate and/or apply antifreeze to exterior pipes which are prone to freeze. It is also critical that a homeowner makes sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning before wintertime comes. With these tasks taken care of, they can move on to preparing their yard for the cold season.
Pre-Fall Yard and Garden Prep
The Family Handyman is a useful source for all things home-related, and it offers some valuable insight on how to prepare the exterior of your home – particularly your yard and garden – for fall and winter. One important tip is to mow your lawn to a height of 1 ½ or 2 inches. This will prevent the prevalence of a phenomenon called ‘snow mold’. It will also prevent longer strands of grass from bending over under the weight of leaves and snow, smothering new blades hoping to arise from the soil.
House Logic recommends fall mulching, as it is even more valuable than mulching in the spring. Applying a new layer of mulch in the fall serves a couple of purposes. First, it protects grass and plant roots from the frost that will certainly come in the winter time. Secondly, it allows plants to retain much-needed moisture during winter, when the landscape tends to be dryer.
You should pay special attention to your garden as fall approaches. Better Homes and Gardens’ fall garden checklist points out that many seeds can be planted that will result in beautiful, fall-blooming flowers. They also recommend clearing debris, de-weeding, and giving plenty of water to the plants and other organisms that reside in your garden.
Sunset’s fall gardening tips include employing compost to make the soil as rich as possible, soaking plants with water in preceding months, and understanding that smaller is smart when planting pre-fall plants. Your garden will need more tending to in the waning weeks and months of summer, so be prepared to put in the work.
The fall and winter months can wreak havoc on your home. In order to give your lawn, plants, and other forms of life a chance at survival through the frigid winter, follow the steps outlined here. Do your own research too, finding out all that you can in order to give your home and property a shot at emerging as unchanged as possible once the snow melts and the warm sun comes back out.
Submitted by: Clara Beaufort
Dayton Community News