It's Time to Winterize
- Wednesday, October 29, 2008
There are three types of weather stripping:
1. Self-stick foam requires a knife or shears and a tape measure. It is extremely easy to install, invisible when installed but not very durable.
2. Rolled vinyl with aluminum channel backing requires a hammer, nails, metal snips and a tape measure. It is easy to install, visible when installed, and quite durable.
3. Foam rubber with wood backing requires a hammer, nails, hand saw, and tape measure. It is easy to install, but visible when installed and not very durable.
Door Bases. A door sweep is a flexible material that attaches to the bottom of the door and fills in the gap between the door and the floor. Installation requires a screwdriver, hacksaw and tape measure. Sweeps are useful for hard surface thresholds but may drag on carpeting.
Window Frames. Interlocking thresholds are very difficult to install, but produce an exceptionally good weather seal. Installation should be done by a skilled carpenter. Self-stick foam is practical on all types of windows where there are no moving parts.
Storm windows and screens. To keep track of where storm windows and screens go, draw a diagram of the house and number each window frame. Use a permanent marker to write the same number on the corner of the appropriate storm window or screen. Attach the diagram to the garage or basement wall and you'll never have to guess which window or screen goes where.
Battery change. Fall is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Don't throw away the old batteries. They still have lots of life remaining and can be used in radios, toys, flashlights and games. To keep detectors operating properly, carefully vacuum them now.
Frozen pipe prevention. If a particular pipe in your home freezes regularly, allow the corresponding faucet to drip ever so slightly when subfreezing weather is predicted. If one freezes, open the faucet to release pressure from thawing water. Then apply heat with a hair dryer, heat gun or heat lamp starting at the faucet side of the frozen area.
Furnace filter recycle. Instead of replacing your furnace filter each month or as recommended by the manufacturer, vacuum it and then spray the filter with Endust. This will allow it to continue working effectively for at least three additional months
or recommended change periods.
Mechanical failure is inconvenient any time it occurs, but in the winter it can be deadly. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, will last longer, and could command a higher resale price.
Engine. Get any engine problems like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty air, fuel and PVC filters.
Fuel. Unless you live in the tropics, put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. You can discourage moisture from forming in the gas tank in the winter if you keep your fuel tank full.
Cooling systems. A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended. Check the owner's manual.
Windshield wipers. Clean blades with rubbing alcohol to remove gooey build-up; replace if torn or worn. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad winter blades to fight ice build-up. Carry an ice-scraper.
Windshield washer fluid. Pour three cups isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and one tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent into a clean, gallon-size plastic jug. Fill with water. Label, cap tightly and keep out of reach of children. Use year-round as this mixture will not freeze.
Tires. Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Replace as necessary and always carry a good spare and jack.
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