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Winter might be the season of glitter, Christmas, and cozy nights in front of the fire, but it’s also the season of terrible weather. Over the colder months of the year, it can feel as if you are being held prisoner in your own home, afraid to venture outdoors thanks to the vicious cold that will immediately descend upon you.
It’s not just your fingertips and the tip of your nose that suffer in winter weather; the exterior of your house does as well. Unlike your extremities, there’s not much you can do to prevent these problems either — winter weather is going to wreak havoc on the appearance and function of the outside of your home.
So, before we move into winter proper, let’s examine a few ways you might be able to fight back against the most common outdoor problems that houses experience through the coldest months.
We all tend to think of winter as a time of ice and snow — and we’ll be discussing those more soon — but let’s focus instead on another aspect of winter weather: mud.
Mud is inevitable in winter. It’s inevitable when snow begins to melt and drenches the water. It’s inevitable when the temperatures are too low to let mud solidify into the far-easier-to-deal-with solid earth. Mud also has a way of traveling; one smudge on your shoe and you’ll be finding imprints of it weeks later.
When it comes to mud, you have a number of solutions for dealing with it. Pressure washers are the most efficient way of clearing your driveway, footpaths and doorstep — they’re quick, easy, and efficient. A broom might also work, but the mud might drag and cause more mess than the original problem, so it’s best to soak up rather than try to sweep away.
Ice might be beautiful, making your entire street feel like a winter wonderland, but it’s also perilous. It’s perilous for you when you’re driving on it, and perilous for your kids if their first step out of the front door is onto icy, slippery ground.
Getting to grips with ice outside your home is an important part of winter preparation. By far the best method of dealing with the problem is to use salt. It doesn’t matter what salt it is; cheap and cheerful will suffice for this task, or you could sub in kitty litter if you prefer. When you’ve got a good stock of these items, keep an eye on the weather forecast. If temperatures are due to drop below freezing, apply the salt/kitty litter liberally around your house, anywhere likely to be walked on.
The above image is a perfect example of how problematic gutters can be over winter. Gutters will usually be overflowing with leaves from fall if you haven’t cleared them out. If snow and ice then build up on top of those leaves, there’s a very strong chance the entire guttering will crash to the ground and destroy both the look and function of your home. Clear gutters out before the cold weather sets in to prevent this.
By putting the above principles into action, you can be sure that your house manages to look delightful right through to spring.