House with snow

When the temperature drops, staying warm inside your home is a priority. But, getting your property ready for winter requires more than just keeping the cold air out. It also means protecting the exterior of your home.

Before fall ends, be sure you have done the outdoor maintenance that can save you time and money once winter arrives. Consider these suggestions to get your preparation underway.

Protect your Pipes

Water pipes are an obvious vulnerability when freezing temperatures show up, but many homeowners procrastinate taking any steps to prepare. Rather than waiting until the weather warnings show up, an early start will ensure the supplies and service providers you may need will be available.

In-ground sprinkler systems should be shut off and any remaining water blown out before the first freeze of the season. Irrigation companies often book up quickly, so it’s better not to delay scheduling if you need help. Any outdoor hoses should be disconnected and stored for the winter. The exterior hose bibs around your home should be insulated, as well as any exposed pipes entering your house. If you live in an area that regularly sees freezing temperatures, upgrading to frost-free spigots may be worthwhile since they shut off the water farther inside your home to discourage freezing.

Treat the Yard

Instead of playing catch-up in the spring, take the time to help your grass survive the winter. While the best approach will vary by type of grass, you’ll likely want to water thoroughly in the weeks leading up to cold weather. While it may go dormant soon, it will need strong roots to come back plush.

A final fertilizer treatment and weed control are also recommended before winter. Some species may benefit from aerating or overseeding in the fall, and cutting it shorter than usual at the final mowing can be helpful. Once warm weather returns, these efforts can lead to a greener, healthier lawn your neighbors will envy.

Damage Control

Pipes aren’t the only place where freezing water can do damage outside your home. If you have cracks in your driveway or sidewalks, a harsh winter will only make them worse. Clearing them of weeds and debris and then filling them with a patching or sealing compound will prevent them from frozen water that can result in further expansion.

Similarly, cleaning your gutters before winter can ensure they are in good condition and not holding standing water that could freeze and lead to roof or eave problems. While inspecting these areas, it’s also smart to recaulk any windows, doors, and other openings that may be due for a refresh.

Stay warm and enjoy your home this winter. Once it’s time to start shopping for a new one, remember that Open Mortgage has the experience and resources to make the process seamless. Browse our website for more information.

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