By the time we left our mountain home in between snowstorms, it felt like an episode of M*A*S*H with us bugging out and heading South before getting hit hard. On a side note, a weather report from Red Feather lakes last week said it was -2 degrees back home.
But we did have time to winterize the place, which based on that report, we are very glad we did.
In addition to a few minor exterior repairs, below are the steps we took to ensure our house survives the severe Colorado winter.
Steps for Winterizing Mountain Home:
- Close and/or cover all heating vents.
- Remove all food from premises.
- Clean out refrigerator.
- Remove all ice from freezer and shut off water supply to ice maker.
- Turn heater thermostat off.
- Turn off fuel supply and/or electricity to furnace.
- Turn off fuel supply and/or electricity to water heater.
- Turn off well pump.
- Drain well water pressure tank.
- Drain hot water heater.
- Drain water from and insulate any outdoor hose bibs.
- Drain water from all interior faucets.
- Flush toilets to drain tanks and remove excess water in bowls.
- Plunge out excess water from all waste water traps.
- Plug dry toilet bowls with rags.
- Plug all sink and tub drains.
- Expel water from lines using air pressure, if equipped.
- Lock all windows and close blinds/curtains.
- Deploy preferred rodent deterrence.
- Plug any exterior holes with steel wool to prevent rodent entrance.
- Set nail mats in front of all windows and doors to deter bears.
- Unplug any phantom load items, TVs, stereos etc.
- Provide contact information to neighbors.
- Pray that all is well when you return.
What is a nail mat you ask? We wondered the same thing when we discovered the picket fence looking things with nails sticking out of them in the garage when we bought the place. (See photo above.) Turns out the previous owner made these bear unwelcome mats to place in front of all the windows and doors, with the screws pointing up. Let’s hope they work!
The previous owner also told us he never winterized the place, but he was often up there on winter weekends. We told this to a couple neighbors, and they both said, “He was lucky!” We’ll be gone a few months. And considering this was the first time we ever had to do anything like this, we’ll see if these steps did the trick. Talk to us next Spring.