This morning as I drove to work, the radio announced that Oakridge schools were closed for a snow day! And, there was definite signs of sn-rain on my windshield as I drove into Downtown Eugene.
Ready or not, Winter is here! If you were lulled into a false sense of security, as I was, with the unseasonably sunny November, it’s time to batten down the hatches and get your house ready for cold weather. These few tips will reduce your risk of broken pipes and failing furnaces, and help your pad stay dry, warm, and safe this winter.
- Turn off water & disconnect your garden hose from your outside water spigot. Be sure to drain the line to prevent water being trapped in the spigot, freezing and expanding and breaking the plumbing fixture or underground pipe.
- Cover your crawl space vents as the weather cools. This stops any cold air flow from entering into your crawl space where most of your plumbing lines are located. Make sure you open the vents again in the spring, so air can circulate under the house.
- Examine your crawlspace for exposed plumbing lines near foundation vents. If a plumbing line is close to a vent, put insulation behind that vent to prevent the cold temperature from reaching the pipe.
- Schedule a furnace check up. Make sure your furnace is working properly, so you don’t risk it breaking down during a cold spell, the house temperature dropping quickly and pipes freezing.
- Close your garage door to ensure that your hot water heater, well pump, and other plumbing and heating appliances are kept warm.
- Walk the exterior of your house and check for cold weather weakness areas. Clear gutters and point downspouts away from the foundation. Confirm that water drains away from the home. Grading your landscaping away from the foundation can help water drain correctly.
- Insulate your home in drafty areas. Add insulation to your attic and crawlspace, and where appropriate, make sure that plumbing lines are between the home and the insulation to ensure that the lines are protected from freezing weather.
- Evaluate your doors and windows for heat loss. If needed, add weather stripping for exterior doors, and install additional window insulator kits to help prevent drafts. These are easy to use, and available at your local hardware store. As a quick alternative, you can also use a rolled up towel to prevent drafts under doors.
- Finally…grab your skis, boots, sleds and warm weather gear, get outside and have fun!!!