01 Oct When is the best time to prepare your garden for winter?
In autumn it is time to prepare your garden for the cold winter. Frost is not only a danger for plants, but can also cause expensive damage to outdoor facilities such as fountains and swimming pools. If temperatures fall below zero permanently, there is a risk that water pipes or heating pipes will freeze. First perhaps only a small ice lump forms. This, however, prevents the water from flowing through the pipes and freezes the entire pipe. This can easily cause a pipe to burst. This has to be prevented!
In order to prepare the garden and taps for winter, it is best to start rough work in October or November at the latest. As long as the soil is not yet frozen, the faster you can prepare your garden for winter.
Protect faucet and water pipes from freezing
Repairing burst lines is not inexpensive. For this reason, you would do well not to give the frost a chance to get over water pipes, garden fountains and swimming pools and possibly damage them massively.
Therefore, be on your guard and remove water wherever it can cause damage. Rain barrels are emptied in autumn, as is the garden pump of any garden fountain.
Protect garden water connections against frost
It is important to disconnect the garden water connection before winter and empty the pipe. Close the shut-off valve by turning the handle clockwise. Then open the outlet valve in the garden and the small drainage valve on it. Now the water between the shut-off valve and the outlet valve in the pipe will run out through the small tube on the drainage valve. When closing the tap, make sure that it is not completely closed.
Now nothing can happen to your water tap in the garden over the winter.
Tip: If your garden water pipe does not drain completely (without gradient), you can blow it out with compressed air.
Special solution: External water taps with volume compensator
Imagine a frost-proof outdoor tap that supplies you with fresh water all year round. An external tap with volume compensator makes it possible – and eliminates the annoying shut-off and draining of pipes and fittings.
An external fitting with volume compensator automatically compensates for the amount of water or ice. The compensator is located in the frost-proof area of the system. The advantages:
Water can even be removed during the frost period, shutting off and emptying pipes is no longer necessary.
Such a frost-proof water tap can withstand a pressure of up to 16 bar and is suitable for initial installations and retrofits with a wall thickness of 135 mm to 500 mm. For planners, builders and homeowners, the system offers a clever, frost-proof solution for outdoor use.
Insulation is also available for outdoor cables to protect them from freezing. The simplest type of insulation is formed from polyethylene and neoprene foam in various sizes – suitable for all cables. These are lightweight and easy to fit as they are slotted on one side. Foam insulates better than glass fibre or glass wool because more air is trapped in the material. Foam can breathe better and less condensation accumulates. It can be cut to the right length with a knife. Small gaps in corners or seams can easily be covered with neoprene or acrylic tape. The holes through which water pipes run in the wall can be closed with silicone putty or polyurethane foam. The foam is sprayed into the gaps, spreads out there and seals all gaps airtight. Another but more expensive option is heatable pipes.
How do I protect taps inside buildings?
Inside buildings, when the cold season starts, the heating should at least be set to frost protection so that the room temperature does not drop too low. However, this frost protection only ensures that the radiator does not freeze. This does not protect the pipes. Where there is no heating or electricity available, the water supply should be shut off, the taps opened and the pipes completely emptied. If it is possible, the pipes should be blown out with compressed air – so nothing can freeze anymore.
What options are there for defrosting already frozen lines?
A bursting of the pipes can possibly be prevented by carefully thawing the frozen area. To do this, turn off the main tap and open the tap at the affected point. With hot rags, hot water, heating pads, a hair dryer or a fan heater you can try to thaw the frozen pipe carefully and slowly. Under no circumstances should you use candles, boiling water, open fire, industrial hairdryers or welding torches, as heating too quickly can cause the pipe to burst. During defrosting, good ventilation should be provided inside a house so that the moisture generated in the room can be easily removed. When the pipe has thawed and the water has run out, slowly open the water supply and see if the water meter is running. In this case water escapes and the probability of a pipe burst is given. Then the main water pipe should be shut off and the damage should be repaired as quickly as possible by an installer in order to avoid major damage to the brickwork and thus unnecessary costs.
Protect non-hardy plants
Winterize sensitive plants in your home or conservatory. Some plants can also find shelter in cellars during the cold months of the year when there is little light. Don’t forget to water them anyway!
This is how the garden pond hibernates
While a few sensitive garden fish should spend the winter in the warm, goldfish and similarly insensitive animals can remain in the pond.
Also fish leaves from the pond before it sinks to the bottom. This is because its decomposition consumes a lot of oxygen, which can become scarce under a closed ice cover. Pond keepers provide sufficient oxygen to prevent the water from freezing completely. Also remove the pond pump as it can freeze and break.
Tip: Frost-sensitive aquatic plants can spend the winter in a bucket filled with water in the house.
What happens to the water in the swimming pool?
Swimming pools usually do not have to be emptied. However, if they are covered with tiles and are not sufficiently protected, it can make sense to pump the water out completely.
Take a look at the roof of your house!
If you are busy “tidying up” the garden, take the opportunity: Take a look at your house roof and if necessary take measures against frost in this area as well. Check gutters and downpipes and remove leaves, branches and other waste from them. If the organic substances freeze in winter, they can cause rain pipes to burst.
Tip: In the case of pitched roofs, a snow guard, for example a snow guard, is also recommended!
Never leave garden furniture outside
Nowadays hardly any garden can do without a tool shed. Garden furniture can be easily stored there, because it is protected from frost and can be used again next spring as usual.
During the winter months in particular, plastics – including polyrattan – are used to store
porous. That’s why garden furniture should never be left outdoors for the winter, but should be stored in cellar, garage or shed.
Protect electrical appliances
But even in garden sheds it gets bitterly cold in winter. Electrical appliances can spend the winter in the shed or in the cellar, where it is warmer. They must be protected from moisture, as moisture is not compatible with the electrical systems of lawnmowers and other high-quality appliances. Contacts can become damaged and cables porous.