Complete Mid-Atlantic Winter Prep Guide for Your Home & Yard

Dawn KruegerLandscaping

Mid-Atlantic winter prep leaves autumn

If you live in the Bethesda, MD, greater Washington, DC, or Baltimore areas, you know that there are things you should do for Mid-Atlantic winter prep to keep your home in top condition all winter long. This goes beyond cleaning out gardens and gutters. There are many areas of your home and yard that need winter prep for the cold, snowy, icy weather ahead. Here is a complete guide with tricks and tips to help you meet the winter head-on. Specifically, we will delve into what you can do to prepare for winter and how to manage all that snow and ice once winter has begun its deluge.

Winter Prep for Your Yard

If you have a house in the suburbs, the first place to begin your outdoor preparation is in your yard. If you live in an apartment or condo, you get to skip these steps. But it still helps to make sure your landlord or property manager is on top of it.

Mowing leaves helps create rich nutrients in your lawn that aid in growth next Spring. Click To Tweet
  • Leaves. First attend to the leaves in your yard. You can use a leaf blower or a rake for larger amounts of leaves, but consider mowing small amounts too. Mowing leaves helps create rich nutrients in your lawn that aid in growth next Spring.
  • Pruning. Next, prune the heavier branches of the trees close to your house. You’ll be glad you did later, when snow is weighing down heavy branches. Remove the risk of branches breaking and damage to anything in the path of the falling debris. For branches located in areas that don’t pose a risk, it is actually better to wait until just before Spring to prune them. Pruning branches after they have been dormant and right before they begin to bud is better for overall plant health.
  • Lawn Mower Prep. When you have finished using your lawn mower for the season, either drain the excess fuel from the mower or keep it full. This helps keep hoses from cracking during the cold winter.
  • Water. Next, drain your lawn sprinklers and outdoor water spigots of any excess water that could freeze and break the pipes. Many people forget this important step and end up having to invest in a new watering system come Spring.
  • House. Finally, you can turn to the outside of your house. Clean the gutter thoroughly. Make sure leaves and dirt are out of the way, so snow can melt and drain off safely instead of causing possible damage to your house. Similarly, check the roof to make sure it is clear of debris that can become heavy when it is saturated with snow. In addition, make any roof repairs that are necessary before winter starts. Last but not least, spend some time caulking your window and door frames to keep out the cold and save money on your heating bill. You may also want to invest in storm windows to lower heating costs and protect your home against those cold Northeast blizzards.

Indoor Winter Prep

  • Sump Pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement, the time to check it is in the fall, before the start of winter, so you can take care of any problems before you deal with flooding in your basement due to melted snow. Also, buy salt and snow melting substances early, so you are fully stocked and ready to go come winter.
  • Heating System. Next, check your heating system and have any needed repairs made before winter sets in. This is a good idea whether you live in a house or an apartment. You may also consider reversing your ceiling fan, if possible. This will allow the fan to run clock-wise, which pushes hot air down toward the floor of your living space, thus saving money on heating.
  • Emergency Kit. Finally, make sure you have a winter storm emergency kit. Have batteries, candles, nonperishable food, and a flashlight handy in case the power shuts off. Consider a kit like this for in your car too.

Winter Prep for Snow Removal

Once winter does set in, your challenge is snow removal. Professional snow removal is best, and it will save your back in the long-run. You can prepare for snow removal in several ways.

  • Cracks. Have cracks in your driveway and other asphalt areas patched so the pressure of the snow does not aggravate them and make them worse. Also, fix any major heaves in those asphalt areas.
    Water. Channel water and melting snow away from the house and outdoor walking areas. This will keep the pressure of the water from damaging seams between the house and its foundation, and it will keep the melting snow from freezing and creating a hazard in inopportune areas.
  • Location. Plan where you want excess snow to be piled. This may sound obvious, but it is quite unfortunate if snow removal companies place the snow so your car can’t quite make it out of the garage. Or if they pile it onto a garden where bushes are killed – or if a snow pile causes visibility problems at the end of your driveway. Be sure the snow is placed where it will not cause and harm AND it will melt and drain properly. If you use a snow blower while waiting for the professionals make sure you are blowing the snow away from the foundation of the house, since excessive pressure from piled snow can cause leakage and flooding.

Get a Free Consultation

As you can see, there is quite a lot you can do to prepare yourself and your greater DC area living space for winter. However, with the tips discussed above, you are sure to weather the storm well. If you have questions about storm preparedness or snow removal, please contact us. We would be happy to visit your property and give you a free consultation on how to best prepare for this winter!

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