An ounce of preparation is better than a pound of repair. In other words, a little work now to get your property ready for the winter can save you a lot of time, effort, and money in the long run.
What follows is a collection of some of the areas on which winter temperatures can wreak the most havoc and steps that can be taken to prevent avoidable damage.
Winter weather conditions are notorious for turning property’s cracks, holes, and gaps into big problems. They let cold air into homes, raising heating bills, they allow water in to freeze and crack surrounding material, and more.
So before winter falls, walk around the property looking for cracks and holes. Pay particular attention to walkways, driveways, and sidewalks, plus any feature that includes pavers and paving sand. Get enough paving sand to accommodate your property and fill in any gaps and compensate for the settling and packing that inevitably happens.
Gaps, cracks, and holes in mortar (used to bond bricks or stones), are fairly easy to patch with fresh mortar and a trowel. For smaller cracks, find the tubes of quick-drying mortar-patch that can be mounted in a caulk gun. Quick-drying mortar-patch or actual caulk, depending on the building material used, can be used to fill gaps around doors and windows through which cold air flows in. (Just be sure you don’t seal any doors or windows shut!)
Bags of paving sand and mortar are heavy, so if you don’t have one, consider investing in a dependable collapsible hand truck to haul these materials around. Your back will thank you and you’ll have an easier (and safer!) time getting the job done.
Organizing Snow Removal Equipment
The last thing you’ll want to do after that first big snowfall, particularly if you’re in a hurry, is fumble through the clutter in your freezing garage at 6a.m., trying to uncover the snow shovels or a snow blower. Well before the first snowfall, or the first rain that freezes into ice on your driveway and walkway, organize your winter gear.
If you have a snow blower, be sure it’s accessible, gassed up, has oil, and runs. Ensure that the snow shovels aren’t buried in a jumble of old sleeping bags and the badminton net no one’s used for years. And stock up on ice melt before there’s ice. That ice melt, like paving sand, is heavy and is something else for which that convertible hand truck will come in handy. A dependable hand truck can also help you move heavy boxes or items around that your winter essentials might be buried behind.
Winterize the Fluids
The most important fluid to concern yourself with is the fuel in the gas tanks of your lawnmower and anything else that requires gasoline. Left alone, that fuel will begin to decompose in the engine and begin “varnishing” the carburetor. That’s going to cause a lot of trouble come spring. The ethanol in most gasoline will also dissolve plastic and rubber, and attracts moisture, which corrodes the metal. To avoid this, drain the gas tank, run the engine dry of gas, or add a stabilizer.
Check the garage and any sheds or outbuildings for any liquids that could freeze over the winter. Even if it’s a fluid you don’t mind freezing and being ruined, the expansion will crack its container and leave you with a huge mess. Take those fluids, including any latex paints, which freezing will ruin, into the basement or somewhere heated.
And don’t forget to empty birdbaths and anything else with standing water. Unscrew your hoses and store them in a structure indoors or out. If you have sprinklers, call a sprinkler company to blow them out. You should also clean the gutters.
Finally, purchase(or cut) and stack any firewood you’ll need and call a chimney sweep to get your fireplace ready for it. Then, with your home prepped for cold weather, gather the ingredients for warm drinks, and enjoy the winter.
Magline’s suite of tools and equipment is so trustworthy the name “Magliner” has become an industry byword for sturdy, dependable, and tough materials handling solutions. If your company relies on the safe and reliable loading, unloading, and transport of stock, Magline will keep your business moving and growing. For over 70 years, Magline has been providing high-quality products, like the appliance hand truck, to help you handle whatever you’re moving with ease and safety in mind.
Find out more about Magline’s safe and dependable equipment at Magliner.com