Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

Outdoors FallThank you!

On behalf of Buddy’s Blog, Brackfield Properties and Volunteer Moving and Storage, we would like to thank all our customers for a great 2018. We wish everyone “Happy New Year 2019!”

How to winterize your home

Now that Winter is coming, it is time to prepare your house for the colder weather. There are several major systems in your house that needs to be checked including heating systems, plumbing and gutters. This is not an exhaustive list but should help you get started on your preparation.

Heating Systems

  • HVAC: Schedule a tune-up with an HVAC profession. The safety of your family and energy savings are worth the cost. Check air filters and change on a regular schedule.
  • Fireplaces: Make sure the chimney is clear of debris. Check the flue and be sure it opens and closes fully. Check for drafts. Consider having your fireplace chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep.
  • Ceiling fans: Reverse your ceiling fans during the winter to clockwise. This will push warm air down and circulate air in the room. Be sure to switch it back in the spring when the weather starts to warm up.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and can leak from furnaces, boilers, water heaters and fireplaces as well as portable heat sources.
  • Block air leaks: Fix draft under doors and around windows. Caulk windows and add weather stripping if needed. If windows are leaky use kits of shrink wrap plastic. Keep window blinds closed and use heavy curtains to keep cold air out.
  • Storm doors and windows: When the weather turns colder, replace window screens with storm windows. They increase energy efficiency by as much as 45%.

Plumbing

Plumbing can be a problem in cold weather. Pipes freeze and burst. Some tips: Insulate exposed pipes. Wrap them in heating tape then insulate them. Turn off outside water supply and drain water. Disconnect and drain hoses. You should also consider putting an insulated cover over the exterior faucet.

Gutters

Clean gutters and remove debris such as leaves. This will help keep water out and avoid freezing and damage to your home. Keeping gutters clear also helps protect your foundation from overflows and too much water exposure.

Emergency Kits

In the event your house loses power and conditions are too dangerous to drive, you need an emergency kit. The kit should have enough food, water and other supplies to last several days for as many people as are in your household. You can buy emergency kits at many camping and supply stores or make your own.

Outdoors

Grills: Disconnect propane tanks and leave the tank outside. Optionally, you may want to move grills and smokers indoors where there is extreme cold weather.

Outdoor furniture: Remove cushions and store them indoors.

Lawn mowers:
• Empty the gas tank
• Drain the oil
• Disconnect the spark plug
• Remove the blade

If you need storage for grills, lawn mowers and lawn furniture, contact any of the Volunteer Storage locations.

Tips: Packing to Protect Your Valuables

Protect your valuables

Here are some general tips for protecting your valuables:  You should always visit a storage unit before you rent and make sure it is clean and secure.  Visit your rental unit on a regular basis to make sure everything stays in order.  For clean and secure storage, visit Volunteer Moving and Storage with eight locations in and around Knoxville, TN.

Do not store perishable items or combustible items (flammable or pressurized).  Always keep an inventory of the replacement value for your items.

Here are some tips for packing items for protection:

·         Your should place the heavy items at the bottom of the box

·         Do not make boxes too heavy

·         Do not overfill boxes

·         Fill spaces in between with bubble wrap or other protection

·         Pack books in small boxes (they get too heavy in large ones)

·         Use furniture drawers to store fragile items

·         Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or clothing

·         Label all boxes, especially those that contain fragile items

·         Use cardboard to cover the floor before placing your boxes inside

·         Empty fuel from lawnmowers, motorcycles or other vehicles before storing

·         Buy good quality packing materials and plenty of them

·         Use trash cans to store garden tools

·         Large appliance such as dishwashers should be drained and doors left open

·         Defrost refrigerators and leave doors open

·         Use a good quality lock on your storage unit 

·         Cover upholstered furniture such as sofas

For more tips, follow our blog.