Pre­pare for win­ter by do­ing out­door chores this fall

New­ton HBA of­fers th­ese tips for the up­com­ing cold sea­son

The Covington News - - Local news riley henry jackson sr. -

Al­though the fall sea­son has just be­gun, win­ter is just around the cor­ner. Take the nec­es­sary steps now to en­sure your home and lawn can hold up to an­other cold, wet sea­son.

Lawn and Land­scape Care

• Re­seed and fer­til­ize. Fall is a great time for new grass seed to take root, so con­sider re­seed­ing in se­lected ar­eas of your lawn. Re­seed­ing also helps keep weeds from grow­ing in the spring. Fer­til­ize your lawn with a high-ni­tro­gen fer­til­izer to en­cour­age root growth. Look for a lawn fer­til­izer la­beled “win­ter­iz­ing.”

• Aer­ate your lawn. Over time your lawn can be­come com­pacted, which hin­ders grass growth. Aer­at­ing — or break­ing up the soil sur­face by pol­ing holes into the ground — re­duces thatch, loosens up com­pacted soils and paves the way for wa­ter and nu­tri­ents to reach the roots of your grass.

• Trim your trees and re­move dead branches. High winds or snow can cause weak trees or branches to break and cause dam­age to prop­erty. Look for large dead branches in trees, cav­i­ties or rot­ten wood along trunks or ma­jor branches, mush­rooms at the base of trees, cracks or splits in trunks, and leaves that pre­ma­turely de­velop un­usual color or size.

Home Ex­te­rior Tasks

• Main­tain your gut­ters. Re­move all de­bris from your gut­ters so wa­ter can prop­erly drain. This min­i­mizes stand­ing wa­ter and slows the freeze/thaw ex­pan­sion process that oc­curs in cold weather. Clogged gut­ters can dam­age land­scap­ing, lawn and shrub­bery, walls, foun­da­tion, base­ment and crawl spa­ces. Con­sider in­stalling “gut­ter guards,” which will pre­vent de­bris from en­ter­ing the gut­ter and di­rect the flow of wa­ter away from the house and into the ground.

• In­spect your roof. To help pre­vent ex­pen­sive emer­gency re­pairs, look for dam­aged or loose shin­gles, gaps in the flash­ing where the roof­ing and sid­ing meet vents and flues, and loose or dam­aged mor­tar around the chim­ney. If you see any signs of dam­age, call a pro­fes­sional to re­pair the dam­age.

• In­spect you home’s ex­te­rior walls. To pre­vent leaks or drafts, look for pos­si­ble weather-re­lated dam­age, like cracks and loose or crum­bling mor­tar. Wood trim and sid­ing can suf­fer for de­te­ri­o­rat­ing paint or be­come loose. Win­dowsills may be cracked, split or de­cayed.

Tak­ing the time to tackle th­ese chores now will save you an even larger has­sle do­ing re­pair work once win­ter has come and gone.

For a list of build­ing in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als please visit the New­ton County Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion’s web site — www.new­ton­coun­ty­hba. com. The mem­ber list is on the “Re­sources” page.

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