Top 10 Winterization Tips for your Mountain Home

We’ve already experienced our first snow fall at the base this Fall.  Although we have many warm and beautiful Autumn days ahead, it is a reminder that Winter is coming and that means it’s time to protect your mountain property from the elements.  Properly preparing your home now means you can potentially avoid more expensive repair and replacement costs this winter.   While you may know the basic measures to help prevent frozen pipes, I’ve compiled a list of winterization tips that we hope you’ll find helpful whether your mountain property is your primary residence or second home. Cheers to a great winter season ahead!    Feel free to contact me for referrals to assist you on items on this list.

  1. Prepare for snow removal. Have shovels, snow blower ready or contract for removal.  Ensure snow markers are in place around your driveway and entrance to house.
  2. If your home is prone to ice dams, have professionally installed heat trace on your roof.  Ensure your current heat trace is in good condition.  Also check for any missing shingles.
  3. Disconnect outside hoses. Drain your hoses and irrigation systems. Though you may have a “freeze proof” spigot, it’s a good idea to cover your exterior spigots with insulated covers.
  4. Maintain chimneys and stovepipes. Have your chimney cleaned regularly.
  5. Maintain heating units. Replace furnace filters, open and clear vents and make sure your heating appliances are serviced and ready for winter. Owning a generator is also a good idea. I bought a great one at Home Depot. You will need to keep a few gasoline cans on hand to run the generator.
  6. Close foundation vents heading into the winter and open them late spring when the warmer weather returns.
  7. Caulk and maintain weather stripping. Any leaks in windows or doorways that are allowing airflow or moisture should be sealed to keep your home airtight. This will also help with your energy bill this winter.
  8. Insulate water lines. Put insulation around hot and cold water pipes. This will also help with your energy bill this winter.
  9. Batteries & Bulbs:  Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide protectors.  Replace lights bulbs with LED to save on energy costs.  LED bulbs in the ceiling lights will also limit the ambient heat which can contribute to ice dams. 
  10. Ensure your ceiling fans are set to clockwise to circulate warmer air in the winter months.

Vacation check list. If you plan to be away from your home for an extended amount of time a.) turn off main water supply. b.) open faucets and flush toilets c.) set thermostat to 50 degrees or more. d) turn down your hot tub to 90 degrees to save money on electric bills.

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