Fall is gone, and winter is coming! ;-D
Part 2 projects that can help prevent annoyance headaches next spring.
Winterize your lawnmower or tractor
Before your mower takes its yearly time off, take a few minutes to prevent springtime issues. Moisture inside an unused engine leads to rust. ‘Fogging’ the engine—spraying an oily mist into each cylinder—prevents this. All you have to do is remove the spark plugs and blast in some aerosol fogging spray (sold at auto parts stores). Then reinstall the spark plugs. You should always store a battery fully charged, or it can lead to permanent damage, especially in cold weather. Connect the battery to a battery charger and charge that puppy until you get a reading of 12.7 volts.
Stored gas will slowly gum up the whole fuel system, and the repairs can be expensive. So, add a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL or Seafoam to the gas tank before winter. (Adding stabilizer to your gas can year-round is also a good idea.) You could also just run the engine until it’s out of gas-that works as well.
Winterize your gas grill
It’s time to pack away your grill before it gets covered with a foot of snow-unless you grill all year long. You should also give your grill a thorough cleaning to remove grease and food scraps, take these steps to prevent unpleasant smelly surprises next spring.
Shut off the gas at the propane tank, unfasten the burner, slip the gas tubes off the gas lines and lift out the unit. Coat the burners and other metal parts with cooking oil to repel moisture that can build up over the winter to help prevent rust. Then wrap the burner unit in a plastic bag to keep spiders and insects from nesting in the gas tubes during the winter–this is a common problem that can make for balky starts, uneven flames, or possibly a scorching fire the next time you light your grill.
If you’re storing your grill outside during the winter, keep the propane tank connected (but shut off) and put a protective cover over the entire grill when you’re done cleaning it. If you’re storing the grill indoors, you shouldn’t store the tank with the grill. A small gas leak can cause a massive explosion if the tanks stored in an enclosed space. Instead, disconnect the tank and store it outside in an upright position away from dryer and furnace vents and children’s play areas. Tape a plastic bag over the grill’s gas line opening to prevent insects from nesting.
Bring paint into the house
Paint doesn’t handle extreme temperatures very well (unless it’s Sherwin Williams Super-paint, Duration, or Resilience). If you live in a cold climate, add this to your fall chore list: Bring the latex/acrylic paint into the house. And while you’re at it, don’t forget the latex caulk. Freezing ruins both latex paint and caulk.
Another temperature-related painting mistake is painting when it’s going to freeze. Paint can’t dry properly in freezing temps. It will only dry partway and will quickly come off when touched. At the other end of the thermometer, painting a hot surface is also a bad idea. The paint starts to dry before you can spread it evenly and can bubble and slough off. Plan your painting to avoid the direct sun if possible. Or at least try to paint south-facing walls in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense.
Get your yard ready
Before the snow flies and you start using your snowblower, take a few minutes to inspect your property. Remove rocks, extension cords, holiday light cords, and garden hoses. Then stake out paths that run near the lawn, so you don’t accidentally suck up rocks and edging. Mark your walk and driveway perimeters by pounding in driveway markers. If the ground is frozen, drill a hole using a masonry bit and your battery-powered drill.
We hope you’ve enjoyed some more information about preparing for winter.
Are you looking for a new construction home in West Michigan? Macatawa Homes is a leading home builder, specializing in energy-efficient and stylish designs to help you save money throughout those long West Michigan winters. You’ll also enjoy the peace of mind of new home construction and the latest innovations in building practices. Shoot us an email or schedule an appointment so we can sit down and get your dream home started.