Indiana gets harsh winters; and with these harsh winters come certain problems that our friends further south don’t have to think about. Thankfully, there are some fairly simple precautions that you can take to be prepared and prevent the worst effects of the frigid temperatures and frozen precipitation.
- Bring vulnerable plants inside — Before the first freeze, if there are plants that you plan on having survive the winter, they will mostly need to come inside. Some people keep a little greenhouse for their plants, or they keep them in the sunroom and others have places at the window sills for them. All of these are good options. Putting blankets over your garden at night may work when it first turns cold, trapping some of the heat rising from the ground and preventing frost, but eventually, the cold will break through, so it’s not a long-term strategy for winter.
- Protect the pipes — One of the worst property issues you can imagine is a burst pipe. These are more common in areas where temperatures drop because the water in the pipes freezes and expands. To avoid the water in the pipes from freezing, leave the faucets dripping just a little (so some water is flowing), maintain a temperature in the home of 65 degrees or above and wrap pipes that may be in danger with insulation, especially inside cupboards and in basements.
- Clean your gutters — What if you go into the winter season with gutters clogged from the fall? You get big clumps of frozen leaves blocking effective drainage. This common problem can prevent proper runoff when snow and ice on the roof melts. This runoff will then find an alternative path down, which could mean water damage to an exterior wall, the roof or a fascia board.
- Salt the sidewalks and driveways — The colder months also happen to be a time when we get more visitors, from Thanksgiving and Christmas to New Years to Valentine’s Day. You also will likely need to keep driving to work and to the grocery store and walking, at the very least, to and from the car. All this means you should keep your paved surfaces safe for vehicle and pedestrian traffic by salting the pavement. Salt gives water a lower freezing point, that way when salt mingles with snow and ice, it will melt and make your driveway less dangerous for you and your visitors. While salt is most popular, you can consider using magnesium chloride or other “ice melts” that are easier on the surfaces. Sand is also great for traction if there is too much ice to melt or it is too cold for salt to work.
- Gather leaves and other yard debris — Leaving a lot of debris to decompose over the winter will make your yard look messier than it has to come spring. To avoid this, spend some time cleaning up around the property. Rake the leaves; clear away dead plants; put away tools, toys and other items you don’t want buried under snow; and generally put things in order. It will be very difficult to do this job once the snow is hiding everything.
Anthony’s can help with winter prep work on your property
Those living in the Bloomington, Indiana, area can call Anthony’s Lawn Care and Landscaping for expert winter prep advice and assistance. Some of the jobs (like wrapping plumbing pipes) may be beyond the services we offer, but we can certainly help with cleaning up lawn debris and protecting flowers and plants. You can reach us at (812) 929-9463 for more information.