November 2, 2012

Home Winterization Tips

The air has turned from warm to crisp, the trees are nearly bare, and the sun has gone into hibernation mode – which can only mean one thing in the Pacific Northwest: Winter is just around the corner. Here at Team Troy, we have gathered some useful winterization tips that can protect your home and your wallet from the upcoming season.

Water is your enemy:  Living in Seattle, we are all complacent when it comes to a rainy forecast, but we must remain vigilant when it comes to our homes and controlling this sneaky predator. Here are a few ideas when dealing with water in and around your house.

  • Be sure to scan your roof for loose or missing shingles that may cause leaking during winter storms. Check and repair break in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys.
  • Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. Pooling water may cause foundation     damage and eventually flooding.
  • Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect all garden hoses. This is important so that water does not freeze in the pipes and cause them to     burst as ice expands.
  • Clean the debris out of your gutters.  I know this is everyone’s favorite chore, but that last thing you want is water building up and causing damage to your roof, siding or foundation.

 Be aware of air:  Whether it’s insulating your house from air infiltration or maximizing the heated air from your furnace, controlling the air in your house can save you money every month on your utility bills

  • Tune up your furnace. For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.
  • Caulk around windows and doors. If the gaps between the siding and the windows and doorframes are wider than a nickel than you need to apply a seal of caulk to prevent air infiltration.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).
  • Everyone loves the warm air from a cozy fireplace, but that warm air can also be a potential fire hazard if your chimney is not properly cleaned out. Hire a chimney sweep to come and assess the condition and cleanliness of your vents, flue and stack.

These ideas are useful for any homeowner, whether you have lived in your house for thirty days or thirty years. Stay ahead of the rush and get these home projects done before the first winter storm. It’s never too early to stock up on sand, salt and other cold-weather essentials.

Team Troy wishes you a safe and productive weekend!