5 Tips to Prepare Your Backyard for Winter Weather
As winter approaches, there is a lot of preparation needed for the cold and snow coming your way. When it comes to your backyard, there’s more that needs your attention than you might think. Furniture needs to be stored, structures winterized, and you need to make sure your home is built to withstand the harsh winter weather conditions.
Store Your Outdoor Furniture
When getting your outdoor space ready for winter, the first thing you need to do is store away any items that can’t withstand winter weather conditions. This includes any outdoor decor like rugs, planters, and accessories, as well as heavier furniture items.
You may think that your furniture will withstand the cold and windy weather, but these items can actually sustain the most damage in a storm. It’s important to store all glass tables indoors. Any other large furniture can remain outside if the material is made for harsh weather conditions. They should be placed in a spot that’s protected from wind or tied down. Use furniture covers or store cushions in a shed or outdoor storage box.
Outdoor appliances like grills and fire pits also can remain outside, but should be covered to avoid any damage or large amounts of wear and tear.
Winterize Outdoor Structures
Although it may not apply to everyone, many homes have structures in the backyard that need to be winterized to withstand the cold conditions. This also helps prevent any animals and rodents from making a winter home out of your shed or pool house. If you have a shed in your backyard, the winterization process is not too involved, but you’ll need to make sure you do it properly so it stays secure the entire season.
This process begins once you’ve cleaned out the space and have moved anything that needs storing to the inside of the shed. Once it’s cleaned, the doors and any windows should be sealed to prevent any outside elements from getting inside the shed during the winter. This can be done with weatherstripping and is a fairly easy process.
Winterization is a bit more involved if the structure is more than a simple shed. If you have a pool house, for example, the winterization process would be similar but would involve unhooking any plumbing to prevent it from freezing during the winter.
Prepare for Snow
If you live in an area that’s prone to large amounts of snow during the winter months, you should have a plan in place for snow removal when necessary. If you have a small patio or deck, shoveling the snow occasionally will suffice. Many people opt to not even remove snow from their patio, as they don’t use it during winter months anyway.
However, large amounts of snow can damage an elevated deck if not cleared every so often. Since snow can be quite heavy, the last thing you want is for it to cause your deck to cave in during a large snowfall.
Some people opt for an electric snowblower to ease this process. Many aren’t as heavy-duty as a traditional gas snow blower, so damage to your paving won’t be an issue.
If you only have small walkways that you’d like to keep clear, you can have these heated if you wish. With a heated sidewalk, you won’t have to worry about snow removal, as the snow will quickly melt. These also prevent walkways from freezing by heating the snow to above freezing temperatures. This helps avoid any accidents or hazards when spending time outside in the winter.
Make Some Upgrades
Late fall is a great time to consider any upgrades in your backyard. Entertaining outdoors in the winter isn’t always popular, but with the right upgrades, your guests will love coming over no matter the weather.
Many people invest in an enclosed patio space so they can make the most of their yard all winter. You can also add in some ceiling-mounted heaters for those cozy winter nights. Hot tubs and fire pits are also great for winter, as they provide some much needed warmth throughout the winter season.
If you’re looking to make larger upgrades, consider using a home equity loan to help cover the costs. This way, you can use the equity you have in your home as a source of funding for these changes, as they can get pricey. These upgrades will then increase your home’s value and put you in a better position to sell in the future.
Utilize Your Outdoor Space When Possible
Although winter nights are best spent cozying up by the fireplace, there are a lot of ways you can use your outdoor space year-round while living in a temperate climate. Outdoor fire pits can be used year around to keep you warm on a winter evening. Kids especially will love using your backyard during winter break to build a snowman, play outside, and do any of their favorite winter activities.
Another great use of a large backyard in the winter is to create an ice skating rink. There are many kits online, but this can also be an easy DIY if you do your research. Although this sounds complicated, all it requires is the framing, some tarps, and water to fill it. Kids and adults alike will enjoy weeks of winter fun on an outdoor ice rink to make the most of the winter season.
As you begin preparing your backyard for winter weather, it’s important to note that every situation and climate is different. Make sure to do research on the best storage methods and snow removal for your location. Now is also a good time to gather any supplies you need during the winter, such as fire wood and snow removal equipment. With all the deals around the holidays, items you need might become hard to find once winter is in full swing.