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4 Steps to Winterize Your Rain Barrel

Calgary is no stranger to the freezing temperatures the winter season can bring and unfortunately, rain barrels are not designed to withstand such cold temperatures. The pressure from expanding ice can result in a crack in the plastic fitting causing serious damage and a shortened lifespan to your rain barrel. Although rain barrels are handy during Calgary's warmer spring and summer months, by following these simple steps to get your rain barrel winter ready, you should have no problems waiting through the cold winter months and ensure the maximum use of your rain barrel.

In this article we will help you prepare your rain barrel for the cold by going over these simple steps:

  • Draining water from your rain barrel
  • Opening spigots and detaching your rain barrel
  • Getting rid of debris
  • Properly storing and covering your rain barrel

Step 1: Drain all of the water

The first step is pretty simple, drain all of the water inside the rain barrel so that it can't freeze over during the winter. By draining all of the water you ensure the water doesn't freeze and potentially crack plastic fittings or split hoses due to the expansion of ice inside. It would be unfortunate to only get one season out of your barrel so as simple as step one is, it's very crucial. The average rain barrel filled with water can weigh up to 500 lbs so by draining all of the water, this significantly lessens the weight of your barrel so it becomes easier for you to transport and store.  

Step 2: Open all the spigots and detach your rain barrel

You want to leave your faucets open and detach your hoses and store them properly since they can easily split during the cold Calgary winter. You can also consider replacing a rain spout diverter with a flexible extension so you can protect the foundation of your home. It's important for places such as Calgary to store away rain barrels during the winter because if your barrel bursts you run the risk of inhibiting the flow of water and potentially damaging your gutter system or fascia. Be sure to also maintain your gutter system to help with the flow of water. 

Learn More: Tips On How To Maintain Your Gutters

Step 3: Clean out your rain barrel

You want to minimize the amount of moisture inside your rain barrel by cleaning out the debris left behind. By doing so, you potentially minimize the risk of producing mold inside your rain barrel and other fungus growth. This simple task will easily give you more time to use your barrel for the warmer seasons.

Step 4: Cover and store

Now that the water is all gone and the rain barrel it detached, ideally you want to store the rain barrel indoors to keep it away from being directly exposed to colder temperatures. Nonetheless, there are many reasons why storing your rain barrel indoors isn't possible, so an alternative is to simply turn the rain barrel upside down and covering it to ensure that no additional water builds up inside the barrel during the winter.  

By following these four simple and easy steps, your rain barrel will be ready for winter and you'll be able to enjoy and use your rain barrel for multiple seasons to come!

Want to learn more?

For more information or to receive a free estimate about gutter system maintenance please call Chinook Exteriors at 587.999.7170 or visit the website and fill out our contact form.

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