Winter maintenance for homes

Frosty windows and a dusting of snow on the lawn is motivation for completing critical winter preparation duties. It’s not the most joyful thing to do, but just as necessary as mulching landscaped beds in the spring. Here’s a glimpse at my personal list and a note of encouragement.

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts are perhaps the most critical. As snow melts, clogged gutters can create ice dams and eventually cause moisture in your basement or crawl space.
  2. Inspect the outside of your house for anything alarming … loose shingles, HVAC hoses dangling, etc. Call your handyman for assistance.
  3. Change landscape lighting and coach lamp bulbs while the weather is mild and simultaneously clean the lens.
  4.  A respectful layer of mulch is especially critical on azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwood trees and spruce. Buy a few bags for ease of spreading.
  5. Take an inventory of ice melt, snow shovel, windshield scraper, gloves and boots before you need them.
  6. Properly outfit the car with items in #5 too.
  7. Drain gas from lawn equipment or fill with fuel stabilizer. Take any equipment that needs repair to your favorite shop.
  8. Drain and store garden hoses … or not. Mine have survived 3 years outside, but it’s a risk. Take “at risk” urns inside after emptying.
  9. Clean beds are happy beds … same with your lawn too. Remove leaves and other debris. Your neighbors will be filled with joy.
  10. Need firewood or bird seed? Stock up now.

Finally, and most importantly, take a few minutes to be grateful and help someone else be happy. Most of us are in need of a few healing words and you can make a difference. Be a builder of people, not a destroyer.