Winterize your home

'Tis the season for getting your home ready for winter! That's not just hanging the Holiday lights, but doing those yearly things to prepare for colder weather.

First let's talk about crawlspace or basement issues. If you live over a crawlspace there are special things you should be doing before the first long term freeze. Hopefully you have already closed your vents for the winter. This should be done when the weather gets below 50 degrees on a regular basis. Doing this helps keep the floors of the house from getting too cold and helps protect uninsulated plumbing in this area from freezing and causing damage from pipe bursts.

Check your exterior faucets for frostproof spigots. If there's doubt have them checked by a plumber. This is often an issue in older homes and can be a problem in our cold climate. These type of spigots will shut the water off about 12 inches back the supply pipe to allow water near the exterior to drain out of the pipe to avoid freezing.

Now let's talk basements...if your basement is finished and is "conditioned space" most of these checks will not be necessary. Many of the items that apply to crawlspaces are the same for unconditioned basements. Check faucets and plumbing that is not insulated, these can be a problem in unheated basements as well. Consider adding insulation to any exposed supply pipes as well as insulating the bays between your floor joists. This can not only help avoid freezing pipes, but can also reduce heating costs by keeping floors warmer and reduce heat loss.

We'll talk about more winter maintenance items in the next week or so.


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