How to Winterize a House Made Easy

A cabin in the woods in winter

As hard as winter can be on us, it can be even harder on our houses. Frozen pipes, cracked fountains – there seems to be no end to the ways that cold weather and participation can wreak havoc on your house! The good news is you can easily keep your home in optimal shape throughout the winter with a little elbow grease and a few tips for how to winterize a house.

From landscaping to pipe protection and furniture storage, following a simple maintenance protocol will ensure your outdoor living investment is best protected.

Frozen water coming out from a downspout

How to Winterize Your Outdoor Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. When this happens in pipes, it can cause them to swell and rupture. Pipe bursts are common in colder climates, and pipes there are often insulated to reduce the risk of ruptures. But elsewhere, pipes are often less protected and more vulnerable to freezing. 

Are your pipes insulated? If not, you could be in for an expensive problem if the temperatures drop! Here are some simple steps that show you how to winterize a house’s outdoor pipes and hose spigots. 

1. Turn off your water supply. Your water supply valve is most likely located near your water meter. Your home may have a separate valve for your indoor and outdoor water supply, so be sure to turn off the correct line.

2. Remove any hoses from your faucets. Once your outdoor water line is turned off, remove any hoses connected to your outdoor spigots and store them away for the winter.

3. Turn your outdoor faucets all the way on and let them run. This action will allow excess water to drain, which will prevent ice blockages from forming in the winter. Once the water stops dripping, turn the faucet off. 

4. Place an insulation cover on your faucet. An insulated foam or cloth cover will help protect snow and other moisture from damaging your outdoor pipes during the winter months. 

When you learn how to winterize a house’s pipes, you can enjoy the winter months stress-free knowing your pipes are best protected.

A backyard filled with snow

How to Winterize a Patio

Cold temperatures, snow, ice and other harsh weather can damage outdoor furniture. If you have room, storing your outdoor furniture in the garage or basement will provide optimal protection from the elements. Since most people lack the available storage to stow their whole patio setup in their garage, investing in some patio furniture covers for winter is a great solution. Some other tips for how to best winterize a patio include: 

1. Clean your patio furniture before storing. Before storing your furniture away for the winter, it’s important to remove any accumulated dirt or debris. Let your furniture fully dry before storing to prevent mold and mildew growth. Be sure to use the cleaning protocol that is best suited for your furniture. 

2. Give your patio cushions a good rinse down. Of all your patio furniture, patio cushions are most likely to accrue stains and dirt. Clean your outdoor cushions by wiping them down with a soapy solution and rinsing with water. Be sure to let them completely dry before storing. 

3. Clean your grill. To clean your grill, fire it up for a couple of minutes to burn any residue. Then, turn it off and remove any remaining stains with a wire brush. Clean your grease tray and the exterior surfaces with a soapy solution and rinse with water. Propane tanks must be turned off and stored outside.

Taking the time to understand how to winterize a house’s patio will ensure that you get maximum use out of your patio furniture. 

A plant in a round planter

How to Winterize Your Garden

If you want to save some of the plants on your patio or veranda that won’t make it through the first frost, you should bring them inside before the temperature drops to freezing. Consider replanting them into a decorative planter and placing them in an area of your home that receives good sunlight. 

Some tips for how to winterize patio plants and winter gardens include: 

1. Add mulch to regulate soil temperature. A great temperature regulator, mulch protects plants from cold temperatures and harsh weather. After a hard freeze, spread mulch around your garden’s trees, shrubs and plants to prevent soil heaving. 

2. Preserve moisture by watering regularly. To best protect the evergreens in your outdoor space from drying out, be sure they are well-watered going into the winter.

3. Wrap thin-barked trees to avoid frost cracking. Thin-barked trees—such as maples, ashes and oaks— should be wrapped to prevent their bark from cracking or drying out. Starting an inch below soil level, wrap thin-barked trees from the ground to their lowest branches in tree wrapping. When spring comes, remove the wrapping. 

You protect yourself and your loved ones from the cold – why not do the same for your home? Learning how to winterize a house is the best way to ensure the structural elements that define your house are protected until spring comes again. For additional tips on maintaining your outdoor living space, follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our email list.