Winterizing the house.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2019, 05:17 PM   #1
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Winterizing the house....

Last month I bought a house. Last week I moved in and the trailer is parked in the yard. My new home is located in Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the heart of beautiful Gros Morne National Park. Our/my history with this area goes back almost 40 years and now it is home.
THE QUESTION IS: What advice and suggestions do you have with regard to shutting the house down when I head south in November. There will be lots of snow, temperatures will be very low and there is a good chance that I will be driving in snow when I leave.
I will drain the pipes, put antifreeze in the traps and have the water shut off at the curb stop. Any advice on leaving the heat on [at what temperature]? Can I have no heat?

It's too late for this year but I hope to be able to provide space and a plug in next summer.

Thanks in advance. SD,
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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If you turn off the heat check the manual on your fridge (and any stand alone freezer if you have one) to see if you need to empty them and turn them off.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #3
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First let me say that I have worked on many a house in New England that were drained and had no heat on. Its gets colder inside the house than outside. I do not think that letting a house get that cold during the winter is a good thing. It effects everything within the structure of the house because of the low temp, walls crack, furniture etc, the list goes on.

You do not say what type of heating system you have. Is the heating system circulating hot water, or steam heat feed by oil or gas. Or is it forced hot air. If its circulating hot water replace it with anti freeze in the system. If its oil feed do you have a regular oil delivery scheduled. Has the boiler or furnace been serviced recently so its good to go for the winter.

And lastly do you have a generator, and if so does it run on natural gas or propane. If it's propane you want to make sure you have enough propane to get through the winter in case of an extended power outage. This may mean the your propane supplier would do a regular check on your supply.
It's also a good idea to have a trusted friend check on the house on a regular basis to make sure everything is OK. Just a few things to consider, also have someone to handle emergency situations.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:05 PM   #4
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It's also a good idea to have a trusted friend check on the house on a regular basis to make sure everything is OK. Just a few things to consider, also have someone to handle emergency situations.

As required by your insurer for insurance to be in effect.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:04 PM   #5
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Last month I bought a house. Last week I moved in and the trailer is parked in the yard. My new home is located in Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the heart of beautiful Gros Morne National Park. Our/my history with this area goes back almost 40 years and now it is home.
THE QUESTION IS: What advice and suggestions do you have with regard to shutting the house down when I head south in November. There will be lots of snow, temperatures will be very low and there is a good chance that I will be driving in snow when I leave.
I will drain the pipes, put antifreeze in the traps and have the water shut off at the curb stop. Any advice on leaving the heat on [at what temperature]? Can I have no heat?

It's too late for this year but I hope to be able to provide space and a plug in next summer.

Thanks in advance. SD,
We used to take care of a house for a couple that lived in Colorado and went south for the winter. They left their heat on about 40 just so it didn't freeze up and they turned off water, etc. You can't get all the water out of pipes sometimes and one could freeze and break. So keep it above freezing to prevent damage to anything in the house. 40-45 would do that. Also call your utility companies and let them know there won't be any water use, little electric and gas. Our friends got a notice on their door that there was a problem with their meters since there was no use on them. I called and explained why and all was well then.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
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We used to take care of a house for a couple that lived in Colorado and went south for the winter. They left their heat on about 40 just so it didn't freeze up and they turned off water, etc. You can't get all the water out of pipes sometimes and one could freeze and break. So keep it above freezing to prevent damage to anything in the house. 40-45 would do that.



Dave, Up that far north you must know how low the outside temp could get. I used to watch my neighbors house here on Cape Cod and he kept the temp at 62 deg's. Well one morning in the middle of winter I got a call from his alarm company, his house inside temp had fallen below a certain setting, 50 deg's, his gas furnace quit, and the outside temp was way below freezing. When I checked the house it had dropped to 45 deg's I called a local plumber and an hour later the house temp was 38 deg's and dropping. Fortunately the plumber got there in time and corrected the problem. So if your looking for a temp to set for the house I would recommend 64 deg's. and still have someone check it frequently.
You can also install a device in your home that will alert your smart phone when the inside temp drops to a certain level.
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Old 08-29-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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We have surveillance cameras to monitor the house. One of the cameras has a digital thermometer display (located inside the house) in its view. If the displayed temperature drops below the expected range, or if the camera shuts down, we contact a friend to check the house...
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:14 PM   #8
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We had a cheap (less than $100) monitoring device that I bought on Amazon. It would call our cell phones if the heat went below a certain temp, maybe 45, also if the power went off and had a water sensor that could be set on the floor. Over a 5 year period it called us twice for no heat and I then called my fuel company to fix the problem. I kept the heat at 62. I had a relative that collected my mail and supposedly checked the house. When she got too old to be reliable we stopped going south for the winter.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:51 PM   #9
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Hi Dave---congratulations on your house purchase! Norris Point is a stunningly beautiful little hamlet/town ...let the memory-making begin!


Have you given thought to renting out your place this winter? Or even a house-sitter, someone to be there, to keep things going?


When we went south for 5 months a few years ago, we turned off the water and set the furnace to 10C. That kept things above freezing quite nicely.
But we were lucky enough to have one of our sons living in town stop in every few days to do a double-check....which was required by our insurance provider.



Again, congratulations on your new home.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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Winterizing house

I winterized one house only by turning down the heat and installing a warning lamp in the window as I had to go past it twice a day. I had the heat drop below the warning and luckily only had one pipe leak. When my wife and I bought a new house we had a young person take care of the house. We let him stay rent free in exchange for watching the house and keeping the driveway clean. He got to have a heated garage for his car! Worked out wonderfully as heat went out 2 times and we called a repairman. House had gas fireplace so it kept it warm enough till repairs were made. This was a win-win for both of us. It mist be someone you trust!!
If you use a warning light, use one with 2 bulbs. I watched a neighbors home and when the light went out I checked the house. Just a burned out bulb. Remember, Murphy was an optimist!
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:03 PM   #11
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Leave heat on and have someone check on home weekly

We canít blame you for wanting to head south in when snow and ice set in. We live in the south and head north in summer. Definitely suggest that you leave heat on at 50 F (10 C) or above. Have someone you trust check on house weekly to assure all is well. Also, if power goes out or power surge trips breaker, gas forced air will cease working. Residual water can freeze and bust pipes after 48 hours - maybe less. You may wish to apprise real estate or insurance company; they doubtless have experience and can provide advice and contacts. Good luck, and we will be looking for Newfoundland-Labrador plates in Destin, Florida come December! P.S. Us folks in Florida have similar problem in that we need to keep air conditioners running in summer absence, otherwise mildew sets in... $$!
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