Q & A: Winterizing Your Home


Why is it important to winterize my home?

You invest money and time into making your home the perfect place for you and your family. If you don’t take the time to properly winterize your home, you are risking damage to one of your most valuable assets.

How does winterizing my home help me?

Winterizing your home can help you in several ways. It can help keep your plumbing from bursting or your fireplace from creating a disaster. Winterizing your home can also save you money by increasing the energy efficiency when cold air comes blowing through.

What are the most important things to winterize?

Inside your home, it is important to winterize your fireplace, plumbing, heating unit, windows, and doors. Outside, you should take a careful look at your plumbing, valuable outdoor equipment, pools, plants, and animals.

What are easy, simple winterizing solutions I can implement right now?

Inside, you can start by putting a draft guard on your door and weatherstripping on the windows to keep cool air from sneaking in through cracks. In addition, make it a habit of changing your air filter and switching the direction of your ceiling fans every season change.

When it comes to the outdoors, we suggest that you cover your outdoor spigots and other important outdoor equipment like grills and lawnmowers. Cover your plants or bring them in, and provide a warm place for your outdoor pets to seek shelter during the cold winter nights.

What are helpful investments I can make to make winterizing easier?

Getting a programmable thermostat can help keep your house energy efficient all year long. In addition, extra insulation and re-caulking all of your doors and windows can really help minimize draftiness.

When should I call in the professionals?

Your fireplace should always be cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure it is safe to use. If you haven’t used yours recently, we suggest you find someone to help get it in working order. Also, calling in the professionals to winterize your pool will save you a lot of hard work in the spring. Finally, cleaning out gutters so that they drain properly is also another job you might could use some help with. You can call our specialists today at 541-601-6236 for a quote.

Fall Cleaning Checklist Revisited


Several years ago, we presented a Fall Cleaning Checklist. Now that the leaves are falling and cooler weather is blowing in, it is time to bring our checklist back out so you can make sure to have your home ready for the change in seasons. The Holidays will be here before you know it, and what are the holidays without a clean and organized home to celebrate in?

The Cleaning Crew Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

Kitchen

  • Re-Organize and Clean Out Pantry – Throw away expired goods. Re-arrange as needed. Write out a pantry inventory and make a grocery list of the things you will need to stock up on. Keep in mind the fact that community food pantries are in dire need of donations during this time of year.
  • Clean Oven – Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, The Cleaning Crew can offer some quick and easy oven-cleaning solutions.
  • Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards – Wipe down your kitchen cupboards. Wipe the insides and the tops, if you feel ambitious!
  • Deep Clean the Refrigerator & Freezer — Throw away all expired foods. Removed and scrub shelves, drawers, and other small pieces in order to deep clean. Replace filter on ice-maker or water dispenser.

Windows

  • Wash Windows, Inside and Out – This may be your last chance to clean the exterior windows before bad weather sets in.
  • Wash Curtains – Pull down any curtains that can be washed and clean them. If you can’t wash them, take them outside to shake the dust off.
  • Wipe Blinds – Wipe down the blinds of the interior windows. This is best done with a dusting glove.

Bedrooms

  • Bring Out Winter Things for Closets – Take this opportunity to reorganize. Clean out the closets and make several organized piles. One for donating, one for keeping, one for trash, and one for seasonal clothes.
  • Prepare For Holiday Guests – Guest rooms should be not only clean, but also inviting. Try setting out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel especially welcome.
  • Clean all Bedding and Bring Out Winter Comforters – Bring out heavier bedding and winter comforters for the cold days ahead.

Other General Cleaning

  • Dust or Wash Light Fixtures – Most light fixtures are removable and unscrew so you can dust or wash them. Make sure to turn the switch off and allow bulbs to cool before you do this!
  • Vacuum Furniture – Vacuum your upholstered furniture and/or dust & wipe down any wooden furniture.
  • Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets – Be sure your carpets are clean before all the winter mud and snow!  Schedule a carpet cleaning in early autumn.
  • Dust the House from Top to Bottom – This means everything from the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling to the baseboards. Go from room to room and dust everything! Dusting top to bottom is the most efficient way to clean.
  • Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Don’t skip this step, especially if you have any kind of wood fired heat. Just a simple push of a button is all it takes.

Brisk and breezy days are best for overcoming the deep-cleaning chores necessary for a clean, comfortable winter home and a wonderful autumn season. Happy Fall!

What’s Your Winter Plan?


If you haven’t already, it is time to prepare your home for winter. The cold weather and precipitation can do some real damage if your home isn’t properly prepped. We’ve checked some of the leading blogs and saved you time by gathering the top tips for winterizing your home.

Winterizing Basics

While almost all the lists include the traditional winterizing elements like changing your filters, reversing your ceiling fans, and caulking, several lists have some extra ideas to help protect your home (and wallet) against the harsh elements.

Heater and Fireplace

First, there are several ways for you to save money this winter. Popular Mechanics has an entire blog dedicated to the energy efficient benefits of winterizing your home. Changing your filter can help your heater run more efficiently, but it may be easiest to call in a professional to give your heater a quick tune-up. That way, you know everything is in proper working order and safe for your home and family to use.

Also, while your fireplace may be a great option for warmth and a gathering place during the holidays, it is one of the biggest wastes of heated air when it is not in use. Make sure to use a chimney balloon or screen when your fireplace is not in use to avoid the draft.

Gutters

Next, like Bob Vila, we take our gutters seriously. The first tip on this list is to make sure your gutters are completely cleaned out and everything is flowing properly. If not, ice and snow can do some real damage. Let the professionals take over this task. Call us today to schedule your winter gutter cleaning before the weather gets too bad.

Emergency Resources

In addition, one step to winterizing that is often overlooked is making sure you have resources for emergencies. Having a generator on hand can be very helpful if the power is knocked out by a winter storm. You can find reasons for owning a generator on Lowe’s list for winter preparedness. Home Advisor also adds the need for stocking up on canned goods and water, plus having a snow shovel around to dig your way out in an emergency.

Pipes

 

Finally, one of the most frequent issues when it comes to cold weather is problems with pipes. Lowe’s has an excellent plan for preventing and repairing frozen pipes. Interestingly enough, pipes in southern climates are more susceptible to damage because those owners don’t typically take the steps necessary to protect them from freezing.

Don’t be left out in the cold. Use these tips to prepare your home for the long winter ahead. Call us today and we will help you prep those gutters and maybe even throw in some window washing while we’re out there!