For the boat, pool and spa owners out there, the term winterization may be common, but others may be unfamiliar with what exactly winterization is all about. Winterization is the term coined for preparing items for the winter season. For example, boats must have fluids drained in order to prevent freezing and ultimately bursting fluid lines. Pools may have to drain a certain amount of water as well as have pumps properly prepared for the freezing temperatures that will soon ensue. The owners of these items are all aware of the necessary steps and prepare accordingly, or should be anyways. However, one area of almost all homeowners which is overlooked is the winterization of the backyard. Backyards often contain lawn furniture, trampolines, shrubs and bushes, lawn watering systems and countless other items which when exposed to harsh winter time environments can be ruined.
Often time’s lawn furniture will be left on decks and patios all winter long. After one heavy snowfall all of this outdoor furniture can be ruined. Snow is very heavy and when piled on top of a glass table it doesn’t take much to crack into a million pieces. The worst part of this is that outdoor furniture is often very pricey. Simply bringing the outdoor furniture inside before winter is in full swing can prevent a pricey mistake. Many times though, people do not have room to store bulky outdoor furniture. Thus, outdoor furniture covers have been designed to prevent the piles up of snow. These covers usually have braces which will deflect snow onto the ground. This is an excellent preventive measure to be taken assuming room indoors is not available.
Trampolines, although durable, are among the many items which are often overlooked when preparing for the winter months. Snow can quickly accumulate on the jumping surface of a trampoline. The weight of the snow will cause the jumping surface to sag and can ultimately ruin springs or worse yet spring free fiberglass rods. I think most would agree that dismantling and reassembling a trampoline every year is not an option. Assembling a trampoline is often times the biggest complaint of owning one. Therefore, completing this task every year is highly unlikely to happen. This leaves the owner of a trampoline which is getting ready to experience the winter months few options. If there was no room indoor for outdoor furniture, surely there is no room for an even bigger and bulkier trampoline. However, by setting the trampoline on its side up against a fence, shed or even on the side of the house will prevent massive snow accumulation on the jumping surface. Many of the higher end models of trampoline, including spring free trampolines, have winter covers available to prevent this very issue. A quick read through a few springfree trampoline reviews, will help assist in picking the trampoline which is right for you and your winter months.
Shrubs, bushes and flowers are items that are unfortunately not easy to relocate. Those items which are planted in pots of course can be moved closer to the house, or better yet indoors. Because many people desire exotic plants and trees, caring for these plants during the harsh winter months is of utmost importance. The next best thing to moving the plants indoors is to cover the plats with a blanket before nights experiencing hard freezes. This is much more common in southern states such as South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Although these states rarely receive snow, they do on numerous occasions per winter month experience below freezing temperature. These below freezing temperatures will kill an exotic plant such as a croatan, palm and orange tree. By covering the plant with a blanket for the night time hours, it will allow the plant to maintain a higher temperature making it less likely to develop frost on its leaves which is what will destroy a plant.
There seems to be a trend in neighborhoods whereby individuals are competing for the “best lawn.” With that comes many hours of work, bags of fertilizer and watering. To make the maintenance of these fancy yards more tolerable, many people are turning to in ground watering systems, or sprinklers as they are more commonly referred to. The in ground watering system is fantastic during the spring and summer months, but come fall and winter these systems can be a disaster. Most in ground sprinkler systems are installed only 6-8 inches below the surface. Therefore, they are exposed to freezing temperatures more easily than the actual waterline to the house. Because these lines are more easily exposed to freezing temperatures, they are then more susceptible to bursting. Water in a confined area that freezes, expands, and then can burst a pipe. Once a pipe has burst, there is no remedy aside from digging up the cracked area, removing it, and replacing it with new pipe. Although, this sounds very doable, the biggest issue is locating the area of the leak 8 inches below ground. Therefore, preparing these pipes by draining the system or applying a anti-freezing chemical is of utmost importance to ensuring in ground sprinkler system longevity.
Preparing boats, pools and spas for winter seems to be common sense however where people are almost every day, at home, looking out their back window is far too often overlooked. If not properly cared for many outdoor items can be ruined and awfully costly to replace. By following the few steps outlined above you can avoid these mistakes. A few hours of preparation can save thousands of dollars in mistakes down the road.