Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Preparing for Winter

How this winter is going to be different from last winter: (I'm into lists today...)

- First, I'm going to make sure the windows stay closed. Some of them kept falling open last winter because they don't close enough to be able to use the latches. This winter I'll use wood dowels to force them closed.

- I'm going to put area rugs over every exposed inch of the floor. I think wind was blowing up the hill, through huge openings in the foundation into the crawlspace and some of it was coming up through the floor. (Although looking at this picture, the foundation is protected by snow. Hmm.)

- I'm having someone look at the outside storm windows to possibly repair some of them.

- I ordered inside storms from these guys: http://www.windotherm.com/ . It's like the plastic you put over the windows, but on steroids. The double-sided tape holding the plastic stuff didn't stick last winter, so it was like having nothing at all over the windows. These inside storms are plastic, but it's two layers on a frame and attached to the window frame with twisty things over weatherstripping. I do believe this will stop most of the wind inside the house. I ordered one to cover the door you see in this picture too. That door was a major source of inside breezes last winter.

- If all of that stuff doesn't get me to at least 65 degrees inside, then I may buy sheets of insulation and tack it up on the west wall on the inside. Yes it will be ugly. Last winter I couldn't get it warmer than 58 degrees inside, (10 feet away from the wood stove!) and I don't want to spend another winter being that cold!


  1. The first thing I would do would be to either fix the foundation of the house or nail up some heavy duty plastic about 3-3 1/2 feet up from the ground. tack it into place with strips of wood on the top side and have enough plastic on the ground to have a little apron. First snow fall take a shovel and bank the foundation. Pile the snow up as high as the plastic. Each snowfall add more until the foundation is well banked. That will keep most of the cold out. Right idea with closing off the rooms you don't need in the winter. Tack up blankets you can get at rumage sales for little or nothing over the doors and place a rug at the bottom. Plastic on the windows that you can shrink wrap with a hair dryer. No more flapping plastic in the wind. Heavy curtains or more blankets over the windows at night. Leave open on sunny days for some solar heat. Keep the chimney cleaned and in good repair and only use seasoned or very dry hardwood for the stove. We live in Minnesota in the country, this is standard procedure here. Some people will line the outside of their foundations with staw bales stacked two high. Talk to the old-timers. They are a wealth of information.

  2. Hi Cindy - great suggestion about the plastic to protect the foundation. I love talking to the old-timers. So much knowledge that we've lost!