Winter is in full swing. Snow days and snuggling up with a mug of hot cocoa can be delightful, but outside your home may need some special attention to combat any damage the cold can do.

Covering Hose

Disconnect that Hose

It’s easy to forget about your water hose and outdoor spigots once the cold weather has creeped in and halted your need for them. One last time after you’ve given up washing your car outside for the season, make sure the spout is turned all the way off and the hose is disconnected.  Simon at The Scottish Plumber explains, “If you leave a garden hose attached, a small amount of water can stay lodged in the pipe by the spigot and will quickly freeze. This ice can damage your faucet and pipe: so prevent a costly repair by disconnecting that hose today!”

Bring in the Gnomes

There’s nothing sadder than a cracked pink flamingo, when it could have been avoided. Lawn ornaments are (obviously) meant to be outside, but you can extend the amount of time they last by storing them in your shed for the winter. If you have ornamental solar lights, like a lantern carrying gnome riding a squirrel, they probably won’t function as well as they do in the brighter months. You can extend the longevity of the battery on those by switching them off and bringing them inside. On the flip side, if you have functional solar lights as part of your landscaping, it’s fine to let them stay out for the winter and keep charging.

Feed Your Grass

Keeping your grass happy in the winter will help your curb appeal in the spring. Michelle Ullman at Better Homes & Gardens suggests spreading your lawn with a winter fertilizer. She says, “Winter lawn fertilizer is heavy on potassium, which strengthens the roots and helps the grass survive cold weather. A good winter lawn treatment keeps your turf strong and green through the fall, and ready to perk up again once spring arrives.”

Sealing Deck

Protect Your Wood

You don’t want your wooden decks and rails to get moldy and rotten from the moisture winter can bring about, so make sure to treat these structures with an outdoor waterproof sealer. It’s also a good idea to keep dead leaves and debris swept off your porch decks, so the rotting vegetation doesn’t stain or mold.

Pinch Their Heads Off

Make sure to prune your plants so they’re ready for warmer weather. Many flowering plants, like roses, flourish in spring when their expired buds are cut off at the end of the season. Matt Suwak at Gardner’s Path has compiled a list of perennials that love to be pruned at the end of autumn, you can peruse it here.

Everyone loves winter, (that’s not true) but winter doesn’t always love our homes they way we’d like it to. Luckily, there are steps we can take to mitigate the threat of damage to the outside of our homes.