St. Louis Winterizing Home Tips

Winterizing your home should be a priority now. I once made the big mistake of not disconnecting my  hoses from the spigots. Come Spring, I turned on a hose and noticed a leak in the basement. I had a plumber replace the spigot and make the necessary repairs. What I did not realize was that as I was running the hose, water traveled across the basement ceiling into the tuck-under garage ceiling. It took a few day to happen, though the entire plaster garage ceiling collapsed. (Your should also turn off the interior shut off value and then open up the exterior value. In addition, you can also get these sock like things to cover them.)

One other piece of advice that I have learned from having just a car-port now and not a garage- don't leave things with motors, like power washers. outside in the winter. Either get them winterized or move them into the basement or both.  I just know that my new power washer did not work this Spring and I had to replace it.

Here are some more tips from LeaderOne Mortgage Broker Chris Sanders, 314-222-5500

1) Cover vents around the foundation of your home.

2) Look for light shining through closed door frames, attach rubber or felt weather-stripping on the inside of the door frame to ensure a tight door seal, eliminating drafts.

3) Keep your garage door closed during cold weather.  Usually, at least one of your garage walls connects to an inside the house room.  A cold garage makes for a cold (inside the house) room.  Some garage walls are not insulated.

4) Use wood burning fireplaces, or wood burning stove, during cold weather.  The cost of the wood will easily be saved in your reduced winter heating bills.

5) When not in use, close your fireplace flue / damper.  Heat escapes through an open chimney.  If you have glass fireplace door covers, close them as well.

6) Open drapes and shades on sunny winter days.  The sunlight coming through the windows is like getting FREE heat.  Conversely, close them at night, trapping the heat indoors.

7) Caulk over window frame gaps or cracks.

8) Make sure your windows are latched when closed.  This completely seals the two window panels together.

9) Have your furnace inspected and cleaned.  Also, replace the furnace filter.  Well worth the (approx) $100 spent.  Dust and dirt are the number 1 reason for furnace trouble.

10) Look in your attic / roof.  If you have less than 12" of insulation, have some added.  The majority of home heating escapes there.  The cost of the insulation will be saved (during the 1st winter season) in your heating bills.

11) Clean out the gutters.  Clogged gutters can form ice dams, where water backs up, freezes, and seeps into the house walls.

Bonus Tips:

1) Make sure everyone living in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is located; in the event a leak occurs (water line freezes and breaks, hot water heater springs a leak, washing machine hose cracks, etc.).

2) Turn your thermostat down 3 or 4 degrees when you go to bed.  You are usually covered up and won't notice the difference in the temperature.  You'll notice the savings in your heating bills.


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