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How to Prepare Your Yard & Driveway for the Extreme Cold

If you live in an area with extreme winters, you’ve probably already seen how the freezing temperatures affect your property, particularly your yard and driveway. Here’s how you can protect both at the same time:

1. Seal coat your asphalt

The biggest enemy of asphalt is extreme temperature. With extreme heat, pavement shrinks. On the other hand, with extreme cold, pavement expands. When either of these two things happens, your driveways and walkways can crack, thus allowing moisture inside the slabs.

To prevent cracks from forming and allowing entry of moisture into your asphalt, apply a seal coat when the weather is temperate. Aside from protecting your pavement against the elements, seal coating makes it look brand-new.

2. Clear the gutters from debris

Cleaning the gutters is one of the most important tasks you have to do on your pre-winter to-do list. Hire a professional to clean your gutters, or do it yourself. Doing this will prevent your drains from becoming clogged when the snow falls, thus helping you avoid water and structural damage.

3. Cut grass and remove dead plants

Old plants, excess grass, and dead leaves can carry disease, funguses, and pests. Removing them from your garden and yard can help keep your plants disease-free during the winter. At the same time, it also reduces clean-up time when spring comes.

4. Wash the exteriors

Power wash outdoor surfaces, such as driveways, decks, and walkways, to remove dirt buildup. If you leave these surfaces dirty throughout winter, they can be harder to clean in the springtime. The same goes for windows, doors, and other exterior surfaces around the house, but use regular cleaning tools instead of a power washer.

5. Spread abrasive materials

house with front yard

An icy driveway or walkway is very dangerous, especially if you have older adults in the household. Before the weather drops drastically, spread wood chips, straw, or gravel for traction. If the ice has already formed, you can spread birdseed, sand, or sawdust on top of it to prevent slipping. Just remember to clean it up after to avoid clogging your drains or affecting surrounding greenery.

6. Fertilize

Fertilizing your lawn before winter can stimulate thicker root growth, helping your lawn repair itself and resist further damage. You can also opt to oversee your yard with ryegrass to keep it green throughout the winter.

7. Protect plants from animals

In the winter, creatures might find their way into your yard or garden to look for food. They can cause significant damage to your perennials, young trees, and shrubs. Protect your young trees and shrubs by fencing them in with cylinder or hardware cloth. Also, remember to keep the mulch and snow low to avoid giving hiding spots for small animals.

In the end, preparing your outdoor spaces for winter is essential to minimizing damage, especially if the cold hits hard in your area. With these steps, you can not only protect your yard and driveway, but you are also making springtime cleaning easier for your future self.

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