Home Owner’s Tips: Defeat Winter

Guest local contractor shares tips on winterizing your home

by Stacey Dondey – January 29, 2018

The days may be getting longer but winter is far from over. Homes across the area are experiencing challenges that may not have been issues for years in a winter that the 2018 Farmer’s Almanac is calling, “much colder than last year’s.”

Below freezing temperatures are forecasted to continue throughout February and March. Winterizing our homes is a good idea any time of the year since it protects in the winter and saves us money on cooling costs in the warmer months.

“The main thing you want to do is check all the pipes and make sure they are insulated,” advises Ryan Jones, owner and operator of Ryan Jones General Contracting. He offered many helpful tips on today’s feature when he stopped by the studio.

Here are some of his recommendations on how to prepare your home for the freeze:

-Unhook any exterior water hoses.
-Cover outdoor spigots with insulated sleeves.
-Turn off the outdoor sleeve bib.
-Keep your garage door closed.
-Set your thermostat to at least 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Keep working carbon monoxide & smoke detectors throughout the home.
-Insulate your pipes. It can help you save on heating costs and reduce the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting.
-Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
-Fill in any gaps using a can of expanding insulation like “Great Stuff” which can be sanded and painted later.
-Cover outdoor well heads
-Mark your driveway borders & any hidden hazards that may be hidden by snow.
-Clean and maintain heating systems yearly.
-Purge air from pipes in order to improve hydronic heating performance.

The Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, offers the following additional considerations on how to brace your home for a winter storm:

-Clean out the gutters.
-Insulate walls and attics, and caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
-Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house – or your neighbor’s. (Avoid liability for the latter.)
-Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
-Consider an insulated blanket for your hot water heater depending on it’s location.
-If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you’re not using it.
-Have a contractor check your roof to see if it would sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.
-Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your home’s heating vents.
-Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
-Avoid ice dams – where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls.
Here’s how: Ventilate your attic. Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
-Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.
-If your house will be unattended during cold periods, consider draining the water system.

For more tips on how to winterize a vacant house in the winter months, check out the This Old House website.

Idea/Concept: Stacey Dondey
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Stacey Dondey
Anchor: Stacey Dondey

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by First Citizens Community Bank, Dunham’s Department Store

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