With summer drawing to an end, it is time to start stowing away your summer tools and equipment. Now is the time most homeowners begin to transition from summer to winter mode and get all things summer placed away safely and securely. From barbeque pits to garden tools, our team of Team Candy mortgage experts has prepared a simple checklist to assist you with all of your winter preparation. Follow our tips below to protect your summer tools and equipment from harsh weather and prolong their shelf life and use.
If your barbeque pit has wheels, it is best to roll it to an inside storage area. If your barbeque pit uses a propane tank, it is best to keep detach the tank and keep it covered with a tarp or plastic bag outside and wheel the empty barbeque pit inside. Propane poses an explosion risk indoors.
If you do not have adequate space to store your barbeque pit indoors or you are the proud owner of a built-in pit, keep it outdoors but keep covered. Almost all hardware stores sell plain barbeque pit covers from $15 – $85, especially this time of year. If you are afraid the basic covers sold in stores will not adequately protect your pit from moisture and/or your area’s harsh weather conditions, look into purchasing a custom-made cover. These generally run about $300, but if you recently put in a top-notch outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, the $300 may be money well-spent.
Although today’s play equipment is heavy enough to withstand the harsh outdoors or anchors into the ground, there are things that can be done to preserve the playground and keep it safe for children. If you have wooden play equipment, apply a water sealer at the beginning of fall and start of spring. At the end of each season, check the playground for splinters and be sure to sand down all rough areas. For heavy plastic play equipment, check for broken pieces that cause sharp edges and remove any that you see.
In order to avoid the chaos and multitudes of people who take their mowers in for a tune at the very beginning of mowing season, take your lawn mower in for a tune at the very end of mowing season. Also, add a gasoline stabilizer to the mower’s remaining fuel to preserve it. Use this same routine for all of your gas-powered equipment and tools.
To prolong the life of your garden hoses, unhook them from the spigots, empty the remaining water, and store in a garage or shed. This will prevent freeze damage and allow your garden hoses to last much longer.
Be sure you bring any and all paint that you wish to preserve indoors. Latex paints freeze and end up having a cottage cheese consistency once thawed. Oil paints don’t distort as much if they freeze, but do require paint thinner to bring them back to their original state.
Take all lawn furniture cushions inside or store them in the garage. Lightweight plastic furniture should also be stored somewhere indoors. Heavier lawn furniture pieces, such as wrought iron, are okay to leave outside as long as you keep them covered with either the manufacturer’s designed cover or a large plastic bag, usually made out of vinyl, that can be purchased from a local hardware store.
Garden Tools & Potted Plants
Keep you shears, pruners, spades and weeders clean and lubricated by dipping them in a mixture of sand and motor oil before placing them in an indoor storage area. As for your potted plants, it is best to pull up the dead summer annuals, dump the soil and store your pots in a shed, garage or basement. Terracotta pots left outside can freeze and crack, and plastic pots will only last a couple of years if constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Seek help from a professional if this is going to be your first time winterizing a swimming pool. Usually, water is drained from all pool lines to prevent frozen pipes from bursting. Pools should be covered and ladders should be removed. Diving boards can also be removed and stored indoors or covered.
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