Ready? or Not! Winterizing Your Home’s Interior

23Nov11

In my last article I confided that the first frosty windshield of the season reminded me how an ounce of preparation now could prevent unnecessary, serious and costly damage to properties from ‘weather-related’ calamities.   Several frosty mornings later it’s time to share my recommendations for the Annual Winterization of your home’s Interior

 Your home’s interior needs particular attention and care, based on age, type of construction, and mechanical systems.  Clean, repair, replace, remove, secure, trim, and seal as needed.  I recommend that the following be checked:  

  • All window and doors for seal, soundness, insulation and tightness for wind and water.
  • Every single room and closet in the structure has to be looked at thoughtfully with an eye toward Winter.  Rooms that are ‘closed off’ from being used a lot (spare bedrooms, back closets) need to be inspected carefully for mold and mildew and cannot be isolated and kept too cool in the winter.  Warm moist air (water vapor) from the main part of the structure will enter when it’s used occasionally, and it will condense onto the much colder surfaces and cause mold and mildew.  Winter in the Pacific NW is not the time to isolate areas and keep them cold and dark.
  • All Plumbing fixtures and pipes, in areas subject to freezing such as outside walls, garages, attics, crawlspaces; in other words, anywhere that can possibly get below 32°  

There are far too many details to cover all the mechanical systems of your home in this article, but it’s good to at least be aware of the following:

  • Alarms.  Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Water Alarms as are required by Washington State Law and Current Building Codes.
  • Fire Extinguishers as apply and are required.  Check and document expiration date if a rental.
  • All Shut-offs and necessary access points for utilities, fixtures and appliances.  Their appliance hoses, flexes and connectors should be found, inspected and tested for soundness and operation.  Locations of shut-offs, clean-out, etc should be documented and left on-site; we recommend a “House Records” envelope taped to the inside of the Circuit Breaker Panel.
  •  Water Heaters, Furnaces, Boilers, Heat-Pumps, Air-Conditioners, Humidifiers, Water Softeners, Fire-places all need annual Safety Checks by Certified, Licensed, Bonded, and Insured Techs.  Change filters, repair and service as needed.  Check the inside of all masonry/brick chimneys from below for signs of drips, leaks, pests.  Prove all equipment drains.
  • Every manufacturer requires annual check-ups to ensure equipment is ‘tuned back up’ to specifications, or they void their warranties (including the 20-year or lifetime heat exchanger warranties on heating units). 
  • Most Fire Departments recommend the same due to the high number of deaths (3 to 4 per week) caused by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from badly running furnaces, water heaters and boilers that use fossil fuel.  

Feel that chill in the air?  Before severe weather causes unnecessary, avoidable damage and repairs to your property, make time to schedule and execute your Annual Winterization.  Wishing you an uneventful winter, and a joyous holiday season!

 Bruce Davis Sr.

Advertisements


2 Responses to “Ready? or Not! Winterizing Your Home’s Interior”

  1. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: