Winterizing Your Home, Yard and Garden in the Midwest
As we head into November it is time to turn our home to-do list into our home winterizing list. Preparing for winter is much more than raking the lawn, there are a handful of easy tasks that you can do to protect your home, your stuff, and your family before the Upper Midwest winter gathers its cool grip.
The list of great ideas for winterizing is huge; this list gives you our top recommendations.
Exterior of Your Home
- Seal holes and cracks – It can be amazing how much cold air can seep in around your windows, doors, air conditioners, etc. Be sure to seal those spaces with caulk, weather stripping, or hole filling options before the snow flies. This easy to do step can save you a ton of money with both stopping the cold from coming in, but also preventing it from seeping out in the summer.
- Spruce up the gutters – Clean all debris from your gutters and consider installing a gutter guard. The guard can help with not only keeping your gutters clean but can also help reduce ice dams.
- Install a storm door – According to the U.S. Department of energy, installing a storm door can reduce energy loss by up to a whopping 50%.
- Protect your grill and furniture – While it’s always preferrable to move your lawn furniture and grill in to a garage or shed, that isn’t always possible. If you can’t move it in, cover your lawn furniture and grill with the covers or tarps.
Your Yard, Garden, Sidewalks, and Driveway
- Put away the hose & protect the faucet – Freezing water in your hose simply destroys it quickly. Drain your hoses and bring them in the garage, shed or wherever you can store them out of the elements. If you can shut off the valve, do so, and it’s a great idea to insulate the outdoor faucet(s).
- Prepare for ice – Get your salt, ice chopper and shovels ready to go. Don’t wait to have salt on hand; by the time you need it the stores are often quickly sold out of salt.
- Seed your lawn – Dormant seeding is a great way to give your lawn a head start in the spring. Try to time the seeding until just before snow is expected to fall, and stay, for the season. When the thaw comes in the spring, the seeds will start to germinate and have the melting snow as moisture to kick-start your lawn.
- Prep your garden – Pick up any debris and remove as many weeds as possible. Use a winter fertilizer specifically formulated for cooler climates. Cover the bed by using mulch, burlap, or look into silage tarps for large areas.
- Get your snowblower ready – It always happens, the snow creeps up and before you know it the driveway is covered. This is the time to check your gas, spark plugs, and the general health of your snowblower.
Interior of Your Home
- Watch the pipes- There are few bigger nightmares than freezing or bursting water pipes during the winter. Make sure to insulate pipes, when possible, keep the cold out and circulate warmer air. To keep the pipes in your sinks warmer consider keeping the vanity doors open.
- Switch your celling fan – Most ceiling fans have the feature of switching the direction of the blades. The blades should be turning clockwise to create an updraft and circulate the warmer air throughout the room.
- Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors – Checking your carbon monoxide and smoke/fire detectors is such a quick and easy thing to do and it literally saves lives. Making this part of your winter routine just helps to make sure the testing gets done. There has also been a fair amount of improvement and new features in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors, so consider replacing your older models.
- Get your HVAC system serviced – Getting your furnace, vents and air conditioning systems checked at least once annually is a great way to care for your equipment, but to also help prevent sudden and unexpected breakdowns during the cold winter months.
- Windows – Storm windows are an amazing investment if you can afford that upgrade. Window insulation kits, otherwise known as putting plastic on your windows, do help to prevent drafts and condensation.
- Dryer filters & vents – Make sure your dryer vents and filters are clean and free of debris. It helps your dryer to function properly and reduces your homes fire risk.
At Mimbach Fleet Supply we are proud suppliers of supplies and materials for your home, farm or business and have been serving the Midwest since 1953. Trust us, we KNOW winter. Let us help you get ready for winter. Stop in and see one of our knowledgeable staff to learn more about winterizing your home.