Winter is coming
Like summer, the winter temperatures can cause harm to outdoor and indoor tools in extreme temperatures, which can become a costly expense to repair. Winterizing, which is the removal of water from lines and equipment to prevent them from freezing and corroding expensive equipment, is a crucial part of preparing for the winter months ahead. For tools that do not require winterizing, learn how to take the proper steps in ensuring they are stored properly during cold temperatures:
1. Pressure washer
A pressure washer is an expensive tool that comes in handy – especially during the spring and summer seasons. Like a lawn mower, a pressure washer uses an engine run by gasoline. Gasoline becomes stale after about 30 days and can lead to component failures. If you know you will not be using your pressure washer in the winter and are getting ready to store it follow these simply steps to keep your pressure washer in excellent shape the next time you decide to use it:
- Flush the system of any liquids
- Place the injection tube into a bucket of clean water and run the pressure washer on low pressure
- If you’re storing your pressure washer for the winter be sure to do an anti-freeze flush too. Then, turn off the engine and the main water supply
- Turn the spray gun and squeeze the trigger to release trapped pressure and water
- Then, lock the trigger on your spray gun. Once the unit cools down, disconnect any attached garden hoses
- Drain the water from the hose, spray gun, and nozzle extension
- Make sure to wipe off the hose. When finally storing pressure washer, pull the recoil handle about six times to empty the pump of all liquids
2. Garden Hose
Just like the pressure washer, the garden hose can become damaged if any remaining liquid in hose freezes. Don’t assume that having a winter proof hose bib will protect the garden house from breaking. Remove your garden hoses from the outdoor hose spigot first. After you remove the hose, untie any knots, and then drain all of the water out completely. When the water is completely drained, and you’ve straightened the hose completely, wind it into a circle and store inside your garage or storage unit. Don’t forget to check the outside spigot of any remaining liquid that might freeze over. Use a dry washcloth and wipe opening.
Water based paints should never be stored in your garage during the winter, because like water, they will freeze. Water based paints must be stored at room temperature or in a climate controlled storage unit to remain usable. Oil based paints will not freeze as easily but to make sure they stay in good condition, try storing them in a closet inside your home or in a climate controlled storage unit.
4. Flower pots
In the winter, homeowners typically take measures to protect their flowers and plants, but many overlook protecting their flower pots from the cold temperatures. Moisture can cause a ceramic flower pot to crack during the cold winter season. Glazed ceramic pots still tend to crack if moisture is in them. If you don’t want to worry about protecting your flower pots from cracking you might want to invest in double glazed pots to make sure they hold up in cold weather. However, the double glazed pots tend to be the most expensive. If you have any doubts about what kind of flower pots you have and if they will survive the winter, store them in a climate controlled unit or garage to keep your pots away from the elements.
5. Gas Grill
Make sure to winterize your gas grill during the cold winter months to prevent deterioration. Like many outdoor appliances that run on gas, you must remember to winterize and clean your gas grill from any dirt, oil buildup or debris.
- Before cleaning, remove the propane tank.
- Then remove the grates, heat plates, and warming rack. Brush them clean with a wire grill brush. Then wash them in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.
- Remove and scrape burners from any buildup.
- Remove the drip tray and grease cup and place in warm soapy water, rinse and dry clean.
- Wipe down the inside of the grill along with the bottom which tends to gather moisture.
- Coat the grates, heat plates, warming rack and burners in cooking oil to repel moisture and prevent rust.
- Wipe down the outside of the grill to remove any spots or dirt.
- If you have an electric grill igniter system remove the battery before storing the grill to prevent corrosion.
- Last but not least, remember to cover your grill and never store propane or gas inside your home, garage or storage unit.
In general, electronics run much better when it’s cool than when it’s in humidity or heat, but when you start approaching extreme winter temperatures, the weather can be just as harmful.
If you leave electronics in the cold and then bring it into a warm room quickly, you can cause condensation to build up inside the device, which can cause for more long-term damage.
PC World found that some electronics can withstand different temperatures of cold, but to be safe, we recommend taking precautions once the temperature reaches freezing, or 32° Fahrenheit. Lower than that, and you’ll slowly start to see different errors or issues. When you can, keep any laptops, computers, phones and cameras that you are not using daily in a climate controlled storage unit to help protect it from the harmful winter temperatures.
7. Aerosol Cans
Spray paints, aerosol spray cleaners, or air fresheners tend to freeze but are just fine once returned to room temperature. To prevent them freezing, keep that at room temperature inside your home for accessibility or in a climate controlled storage unit.
8. Cleaning supplies
Many floor cleaners and other detergent based products contain polymers that do not hold well in colder climates. They tend to separate and then when brought back to room temperature remain separated. Instead of storing your cleaning products in your garage during the winter where they can freeze, store them in one of our climate controlled storage units.