Home winter preparation should include several tasks, including having your furnace inspected, turning off the water to outside faucets, sealing air leaks, and cleaning your chimney. But aside from dragging our shovels and snow blowers out of wherever they have been hidden for the summer, a lot of people don’t do anything to prepare their tools and shed for winter. Just a few small tasks will improve the chances of your outdoor equipment starting up properly and assist with operational safety, preventing unnecessary frustration when the weather starts to warm up.
Winterizing Garden Tools
We know how much property maintenance equipment costs, which is why around this time every year – when it seems sure that there will definitely be no more chances to carry out fall clean-up tasks – we take some time for winterizing garden tools. Here are our pro tips.
- Use a wire brush to remove dirt and debris from the surfaces of our garden tools. A little bit of warm and soapy water can really help speed up the process.
- Remove lawn mower blades (be sure to disconnect the spark plug first) to have them sharpened professionally. This can be done at several locations in Calgary. You may also find a personal lawn mower blade sharpener at your local home hardware store, however we recommend taking them to an expert for the best results.
- Sandpaper or steel wool can be used to scrape rust off older metal tools.
- Completely empty your mower’s fuel tank before putting it away for the winter.
- Replace spark plugs, fuel filters, and worn-down parts before putting your power tools in storage. It’s also a good idea to lubricate them now, and again in the spring.
- Disconnect all hoses that are attached to outdoor faucets, drain them, and coil them up according to manufacturer guidelines.
To store your tools, fill a large bucket with a mixture of sand and a little bit of oil to create an ideal storage bin. Keep them in a clean and dry location, ideally a shed or in your garage.
Chemical Storage Tips for Your Shed
Once you’ve dealt with your hand and power tools, it’s time to make sure your chemicals are safely stored for the winter in your shed or garage. Freezing temperatures can cause chemicals to expand and spill, leaving a potentially dangerous mess to deal with when the temperatures warm up.
- Pesticides should be kept in the containers they came in when you bought them, and stored somewhere dry and cool where they can’t freeze. This may mean bringing them indoors for the winter, where they should be stored up high and out of reach of children and well away from food and other chemicals.
- As with pesticides, fertilizers should remain in their original packaging. For granular fertilizers, purchase airtight plastic containers large enough to hold the bags, place them inside, and seal them for the winter. Keep them in a dry place.
- Also put any grass seed (or other seed) in a sealable plastic container. Mice, which love grass seed, are always looking for somewhere to house themselves for the winter, and they’ll usually pick places that have a steady supply of food.
- Again, cool and dry conditions are best when it comes to storing plant and flower seeds. Seeds should remain in their packets and then sealed in glass jars or empty coffee cans.
All chemicals should be protected from exposure to extreme cold (and heat). Consider moving them to a secure location in your basement or indoor workshop if you can’t guarantee they’ll stay above the freezing point in your garage or shed.
Watch Out for Ice Dams!
Last winter ice dams were a real problem in Calgary. There’s still time to have your braches trimmed back and gutters cleaned out to help prevent the extensive damage that ice dams can cause. If your eaves and gutters are clogged with debris, preventing water from draining properly from your roof, major complications can occur.
Even in the middle of winter in Calgary, Chinooks can warm up temperatures enough to cause a great deal of thaw, however spring is when ice dams tend to happen the most. The trapped melt water ends up being stuck on roofs, then seeping underneath shingles, down into attics and into the walls. This situation can result in significant and costly structural damage. Other factors, such as inadequate attic insulation, can also contribute to ice dams, but they are mainly the result of clogged gutters and drainage systems.
Snow Removal in Calgary: Trust Mirage for All Your Winter Property Maintenance Needs
For reliable, affordable snow removal services, Mirage Landscaping can’t be beat. Our crews have access to a complete assortment of well-maintained, state-of-the-art equipment, and no job is too big or small. We help keep your property safe and accessible throughout the winter, all for prices you’ll find surprisingly low.
To learn more, get a fast, free snow removal quote.