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Prevent Damage by Winterizing your Rain Barrel

We love our baby blue rain barrels.  They collect rainfall and we barely had to use city water for the garden this summer.

If you live in a place where winter weather dips below freezing frequently, like Ohio, it's important to winterize plastic rain barrels.  When water freezes and expands, it can crack the plastic walls or spigot joints.

Here's how:

1) Drain the barrel by opening up the spigot.

2) Remove the hose and store it in a garage or basement.

3) Turn rain barrel upside down to prevent winter rain from refilling.

4) Use flexible hose or reattach gutter to direct any winter rain away from your home's foundation.

If you have the space, you can move your barrel into the garage or a sheltered area, but most of us aren't that lucky.

My personal debate is whether to empty and flip them today or wait.  There's a vicious wind storm coming this afternoon that might blow empty barrels around the yard.  Of course the wind is also dropping temperatures, so water in the barrels will potentially freeze and crack them.  What would you do?

Thank you, neighbor Jan, for prompting this post!