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Please see below or check categories some great tips and tricks written by Kaela Fox
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Ice on your windshield, mold and mildew, ruined furniture. These are common problems at this time of year. However, with proper care, you can keep your patio and yard sparkling year round.
*Winter Car Tricks*
If ice is allowed to build up on your windshield, it can become extremely hard to remove. It is best to prepare your windshield so that the ice does not stick to it in the first place. You can accomplish this by using a product such as Rain-X from a store or by using products you probably already have in your home.
Pour vinegar all over your windshield the night before a frost or a snowstorm. The vinegar will keep the ice and snow from sticking to the windshield so that it can be easily removed. You can also spray your windshield wipers with nonstick cooking spray. This will keep ice and snow from sticking to the wipers so that you can use them to easily remove the ice and snow from the windshield. Another quick solution is to pour rubbing alcohol on any patches of ice that have not easily come off the windshield. The alcohol will melt the ice and snow and save you from a lot of unnecessary work.
Remember that car accidents happen frequently in the Winter. It’s good to be prepared for the unknown, by keeping a well stocked survival kit in your car at all times. Always wear your seatbelt and drive safely.
As much as we love our gardens, plants don’t water themselves and weeds seem to grow by moonlight. So for many gardeners, the winter season is a welcome break in the daily, weekly and monthly routine required for your garden. But, before you settle in with a book and a hot cup of cocoa, make sure your winter garden checklist is completed. Along with the permanent items such as plants, trees, hoses, furnaces and gutters, other often forgotten winter prep includes those investments you’ve made in improving your outdoor spaces like: fountains, containers and pots, and outdoor furniture.
It’s all about the material, so be sure you know what your furniture is made of. And that includes the frame and any hardware. The best way to care for your furniture in the Winter, is to store it in a warm dry place. If you must leave your outdoor furniture outside, choose a good quality cover and be sure it fits your piece properly, and cover’s tightly enough to prevent sags that will fill with pooling water.
Cushions and umbrellas
Check the tag for care instructions. Most cusions are water resistent and can be stored with your furniture. Or store them in a plastic bag indoors. Umbrellas should be covered and stored in a dry place.
Wrought iron or metal
Apply a rust-preventing outdoor paint. Cover or store in a covered area, preferably indoors. Aluminum Furniture will not rust, so covering it to avoid rust is not needed. However, the protection a good cover provides, prevents having to clean any dirt and debris that has built up over the winter months.
Wood is naturally beautiful, yet does require care to keep it looking good. Many are susceptible to molds and mildews if they are exposed to wetness for extended periods. The best bet is to sand and re-seal the finish every couple years, unless you prefer a weathered look. Hard woods should be treated with a clear coat lacquer specifically formulated for these woods. For soft woods, apply a general weather sealant designed to treat wood.
Drain and cover fountains at first frost. Remember freezing water can damage both your fountain and the pump. Never use anti-freeze as it will ruin the finish, damage the pump and endanger both domestic and wild animals.
Concrete is very low care aside from a bit of mildew from time to time. Leave it out in the weather. Clean with a mild cleanser and water (no bleach) and a soft bristle brush.
*Winter Pet Safety*
If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water. If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
The following tips on winter pet safety are provided by the Humane Society of the United States: If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth. Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
Wishing you wonderful winter season!