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What You Need To Know About “Winterizing” Your Home

Posted by on November 12th, 2009 | 0 comments

It’s is time to think about winterizing your house, to protect your investment and save you money on heating and maintenance. When you look at the big picture, it may seem overwhelming, but just a few simple tasks can save you time and unexpected repairs that the winter may throw at you.These simple techniques will make you more “Home Savvy”.

Step 1: Seal leaks around doors and windows

  • Add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows.
  • Caulk gaps where necessary.
  • Replace worn door stops at the bottom of doors.
  • If you have them, install storm doors and windows, including basement windows.

Step 2: Seal other leaks

  • Use caulking and weather-stripping around entry points for all pipes and ducts running through an exterior wall.
  • Install insulating kits behind electrical plugs on an exterior wall.
  • Is the attic insulation adequate to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer?

Step 3: Heating system checks

  • Have a heating professional do a routine-check before cold weather arrives.
  • Vacuum the vents and other heating components.
  • Replace the furnace filters often during the winter months.
  • Consider installing a setback thermostat where it can regulate the temperature when you are away or asleep.

Step 4: Check the fireplace

  • Have the chimney inspected and cleaned. Close the damper when not in use.

Step 5: Check the roof

  • Replace loose shingles and check the bricks and mortar.
  • Make sure the flashing around the chimney or vent pipes is watertight.
  • Install a screen at the top of the chimney to keep leaves and other items out.
  • Clean drain gutters and point downspouts away from the house.
  • Trim tree limbs that are hanging over or touching the roof.

Step 6: Winterize the plumbing

  • Take care of known issues with pipes that freeze. Heat tape can be used to keep them warm during extremely cold weather.
  • Learn how to turn off water at its source so that you can stop leaks immediately if they start.
  • Drain water from outdoor faucets when you think a hard freeze is coming.

Step 7: Winterize outdoor items

  • Give decks an additional fall washing and/or coat of sealer.
  • Check the foundation and siding for cracks or gaps. Repair as necessary.
  • Drain garden hoses, roll them up and store inside.
  • Close and cover the swimming pool, cover outdoor furniture or store them inside.
  • Prune shrubbery and add mulch to perennial flower beds.

Step 8: Collect emergency supplies:

  • Candles and matches or a small butane lighter; Flashlight and batteries; Fill propane tank or buy charcoal for outdoor grills & extra firewood for fireplaces; Battery operated radio or weather radio; Buy extra batteries; Snow blower, shovels, and/or chemicals to melt snow; Containers of bottled water; Non perishable food to last a few days; Be sure you have a hand operated can opener; Paper plates and plastic eating utensils and paper towels.

If you are new in town, ask your neighbour how they prepare for winter. Congratulations, you’re officially ready for winter.

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