We hate to say it, but the cold season is upon us. Team Troy has compiled a list of handy winterization steps you can take to increase your home's efficiency and keep you and your family safe this season.
Clean out your
gutters: With this blustery weather we've been having, all those pretty leaves
are going to wind up straight in your gutters. It is important to clean those
out and other debris, especially before the temperature drops in the coming
months. Water needs to be able to freely flow away from your house to prevent
damage from freezing. It is also a good idea to check for gutter leaks and be
sure your downspout drains away from your house to prevent foundation water
Block leaks: One of
the most effective ways to winterize is o simply block leaks around your house,
both inside and outside. In order to locate the leaks, just walk around holding
a lit incense stick to the most common drafty areas: recessed lighting, window
and door frames, and electrical outlets. Then buy door sweeps to close spaces
under exterior doors, and caulk or apply tacky rope to those leaky spots.
Outlet gaskets can be installed in electrical outlets that share outer walls.
On the exterior, seal leaks with weather resistant caulk. For brick areas, use
masonry sealer, which will better stand up to freezing and thawing.
Re-insulate: If you get up in your attic and you can see
the ceiling joists, you don’t have enough insulation. A rule of thumb is one
foot of insulation. You can layer on top of existing. If you are layering, do
not use kraft finish, the kind with the paper backing, because it can cause
Check the furnace: You
should turn on your furnace to be sure that is working. It is common to have a
bit of an odor when firing it up for the first time. If it lasts for a long
time, call a professional. It is a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned
annually. This will run 100 – 125 dollars. You should change your filters
regularly throughout the winter. A dirty filter will impede air flow and
decrease efficiency, or even cause a fire.
Repair ductwork: A
home with central heating can lost up to 60% of its heat just through leaky
ducts. These need to be well-insulated and well-connected. Repair pieces that
are pinched and fix gaps with metal backed duct tape. They also should be vacuumed out once a year
to clean out the dust, animal hair and other dander that gather and can cause
Put up storm windows:
It is time to take down the screen and put up storm windows, which provide an
extra layer of protection and warmth for the home. These are particularly
helpful if you have old single pane windows.
Sweep the chimney: It
is best not to turn on your fireplace until your chimney has been properly
inspected. It doesn’t need to be swept every year. Wood stoves, on the other
hand, do need to swept more than once a year. Cleaning should be performed for
every ¼ inch of creosote. It can cause mortar damage and the metal damper to
rot. It is also a good idea to get a protective cap for your chimney with a
screen. To keep out the cold air, you should keep their chimney’s damper closed
when the fireplace isn't in use.
Reverse your fans:
Many people don’t think to do this, but reversing your fan from the summer
operation can push warm air down and force it to re-circulate, keeping you more
Wrap your pipes: A
burst pipe caused by a winter freeze can be a nightmare. Before freezing hits,
make sure the water hose bibs are shut of inside your house via turnoff valve,
and that the lines are drained. Look for other pipes that may not be insulated
or that pass through unheated spaces like garages. Wrap them with pre-molded
foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation.
10. Check your alarms: While you are winterizing,
it is always good to check your smoke detectors and change the batteries if
need be. Also check to see where your fire extinguisher is and see it if it
still works. It is also necessary that you get a carbon monoxide detector, one per floor is what is
If you need any
recommendations, Team Troy has a list of preferred vendors that can help you
with any household projects, inspections or work on your home. Here is the
or give us a call at: 206-504-3660.
*Excerpted from JD Models and Construction