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October 6, 2020

Do’s and Don'ts of Home Winterization

Gorgeous snow falls, Christmas festivities, cozy nights by the fireplace… There is a lot to look forward to during the winter season. Amidst all of the business and excitement, it can be easy to skip over the seemingly daunting task of winterizing your home. Turns out, there are some do’s and don’ts of home winterization:

Do Have a Professional Inspect Your Heating System

Hiring a professional to inspect your heating system’s efficiency should be the first step to home winterization. These experts can detect if your system is working properly and identify any necessary replacements or repairs.

Do Asses Plumbing System

The freezing temperatures can have detrimental effects on your plumbing system. Since plumbing systems travel through the coldest areas of the home, pipes can easily drop below freezing temperatures. If a pipe freezes and busts, it can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage. To prevent this, indoor pipes should be insulated with foam or fiberglass. The water supply for outdoor pipes should be shut off and drained too.

Do Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Cleaning out your gutters is a great mid-fall project. Once this task is complete, install leaf guards to keep falling debris out of your freshly cleared gutters. Debris can trap moisture which has the potential to freeze, buildup and damage your gutters, and cause roof and siding issues.

Do Check Doors and Windows

Start by examining doors and windows for gaps where warm air could escape. Caulk or apply weatherstripping to appropriate areas. If you have any summer screens installed, replace with glass counterparts. At Fischer Lumber, we specialize in new window construction and replacement. Our services could save you big bucks on your heating bill!

Do Evaluate Roof and Chimney Status

Hiring a contractor to evaluate the status of your roof and chimney is a crucial step in the home winterization process. Surprisingly, your chimney might be home to a nesting animal trying to escape the cold. Install a screen or cap on the top of your chimney to prevent this from happening. The contractor can also identify If your roof has any previous damage and if shingle replacement is necessary. Fischer Lumber has over 15 colors of limited lifetime warranty architectural shingles and can help with any of your roofing needs.

Don’t Wait Until the First Cold Night to Turn On Your Furnace

Waiting to check your furnace until the night you actually need heat brings up some potential risks. The smartest approach is to test out your furnace prior to when you turn it on for the season. This will give you adequate time if your furnace requires servicing or inspection. The last thing you want is to freeze for a few nights because of an unexpected maintenance issue!

Don’t Over Insulate

How is this even possible? Over-insulation is more common than you may think. Attic insulation should be about 12 inches thick in cold climates and not packed too tightly. These regulations will ensure R-value is kept at a high and indoor heat cannot escape. Like a fuzzy hat keeps a head warm, proper attic insulation will keep warm air inside your home!

Don’t Keep Water Systems Running

Prior to the winter months, it is essential to shut off all sprinklers and water hoses. Even in milder climates, leaving these systems on during the winter can result in significant plumbing damage.

Don’t Cover A/C Units with Plastic

Make sure you aren’t covering your A/C unit with plastic. While this appears to be preserving the system, it actually can result in severe damage. Plastic leaves no room for the unit to breathe, trapping in condensation that needs to escape. You don’t want to unwrap your air conditioner next spring to find rust or mold growth!

Don’t Take the DIY Approach for Everything

2020 has been the year of DIY projects. While some minor tasks are doable after watching a quick YouTube video, most are not. Some jobs should be done by an experienced professional, especially those jobs that require plumbing or electrical service. Incorrectly winterizing your home can lead to hefty repair bills later.

Home Winterization doesn’t have to be something you dread every year. Our experienced staff is available at (618) 259-7434 if you have any questions or special-order requests. We are dedicated to supporting your home through every season!