Winters in the Northeast can be harsh and unpredictable, so preparing your lawn and landscaping features is essential. Let’s not forget your hardscape features, walkways, stone walls, outdoor kitchens, patios, etc. If you invest in your outdoor living space, they need proactive maintenance and protection from the cold weather during the winter months. Thatâ€™s why our hardscape landscaping professionals from Dracut Landscaping have collected some insightful tips for you here for your winter outdoor preparation for your yard and outdoor living area.
1. Protecting Your Pavers
If one of your hardscaping features is pavers, such as garden stoned paved paths and walkways, protecting them for harsher winters is essential. You can do so easily by taking a few steps. Firstly, clean up debris from them that could cause staining and allow a place for pests to make their home. Additionally, you can check your propertyâ€™s water runoff to make sure your hardscape features arenâ€™t becoming waterlogged, which can cause damage when it freezes. Also, adding sealant is often recommended.
2. Insulate Outdoor Pipes & Valves
Any outdoor pipes or water valves on your property should be insulated before winter, especially if theyâ€™re close to your outdoor patio, deck, or other hardscaping features. Doing so is easy: invest in outdoor faucet covers, or pipe sleeves and wraps to prevent them from freezing or bursting. Best ways to drain all water faucets: you may have a frost-free spigot, but the safest bet is to shut off the water and drain it. For your sprinkler system, shut off the main value and have a professional blow out your system with a compressor.
3. Give Patio Furniture & Cushions a Thorough Cleaning
Any patio furniture and cushions should be carefully cleaned before storing them for winter to eliminate the chance of mold, mildew, or pest infestation. Mild dish soap and water or white vinegar and water mix is recommended. After cleaning them, store them in a dry area. Take the time in the fall to clean your outdoor furniture will make it easy to start using them come springtime.
4. Prepare Your Yard & Landscape
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare your lawn and landscape for the winter season, such as removing fallen leaves and yard debris, aerating your soil, planting fresh lawn seeds to grow during spring, and mowing your lawn a little shorter than usual (2-2.5 inches). You can also add mulch to trees and shrubs to help protect them so the roots can maintain a steady temperature during colder winters.
5. Remove Snow & Ice
Removing snow and ice buildup from your hardscape features is crucial to ensure water doesnâ€™t penetrate and freeze, causing cracks in stone, concrete, etc. Just be aware that salt-based deicing agents can cause damage to both hardscape and landscaping features if not used properly. Always use a plastic shovel recommended or a snowblower (carefully) to avoid scraping your hardscape features for the best results when removing snow. Clearing the snow off the deck is wise so that snow does not sit, melt, and freeze for several months on your deck. Clearly marking any retaining walls near your driveway and walkways will ensure you are clearing snow properly and not tearing up your lawn or other softscape areas. As we can get big storms that have enough snow to cover up some of these yard features we want to know where they are when using Snowblowers or plows.