PLANNING AHEAD FOR WINTER
It’s no secret that the bite of cold winter air and bleak weather conditions can have a damaging effect on the outside hard landscape, including fencing and paving. And with temperatures anticipated to drop over the coming months, now is the perfect time to plan, prepare and execute your winter landscaping jobs.
So, what are some of the most common jobs and what best practice methods and materials are available to support these repair, maintenance, and improvement solutions?
Winter weather, especially strong winds and heavy rain can play havoc with wooden fencing – causing extensive and sometimes expensive damage. If you do not want a costly mess on your hands come spring, it is important to inspect for any unstable fence posts that might fall victim to a heavy storm.
If fence posts need to be reset, then a quick setting, no mix concrete product, such as our Postmix, can be used for fixing wooden, concrete and metal posts. Around 25% of the post should be buried below ground. Then, simply fill the hole one third with clean water, hold the post in position and pour the mix evenly around the post until dry powder is visible on the surface. The post is held by the Postmix after a few minutes allowing you to move on to the next one. This way you can put in three fence posts and hang two fence panels onto them in less than 10 minutes.
Repairing damaged concrete
Cracks and spalls in concrete can be annoying at the best of times, but you could have even greater problems when they appear in the dead of winter. Concrete can take a battering from the elements during harsher weather and often rainwater seeps into a minor defect, freezes, and expands and then causes cracks to appear on the surface. Remove any debris and loose materials from the affected area. Once dampened, pour in a dry quick repair concrete (readily available in bags) and spread and level using a straight edge such as a float or trowel. Sprinkle with clean water, compact and smooth finish and leave to set for 30 minutes.
Finally, tools should be properly cleaned before they are put away. A light film of oil on trowels, shovels and other tools will help to protect them from rust. Great tools can be expensive and a great investment when taken care of.
Selecting the best logs for your fire
As the nights are drawing in, winter approaching and the temperatures dropping, re-stocking your firewood supplies is important. Choosing the best types of firewood can create the perfect fire. A wood burning fire is a welcome and comforting sight during the winter months. Flickering flames, cracking and popping of burning bark, and the smell of woodsmoke all help to forget the British winter.
Worcester Timber Products are here to help you prepare for the months ahead but highlighting the best firewood, and providing tops on how to store your logs, and build the perfect fire. We suggest Ash or Oak kiln dried logs. Make sure your logs are dry and fully seasoned before you bring them indoors and use a good mix of species, as they will burn at different rates. Having a plentiful supply of components to hand is essential, especially on a cold, wet night. Keep a basket full of kindling wood close to the fire so that it’s ready for use at a moment’s notice.
Start with a good layer of loosely rolled balls of newspaper – avoid weekend supplements as many seem to be almost fireproof. Add a good handful of kindling, small pieces first and larger pieces last. Try not to lay all the pieces in the same direction. Finish with the logs. The first to go on should be smaller in size, ending with the largest. Light the paper, sit back, watch the fire roar into life and enjoy the warming glow.