Today, things warmed up and got rather pleasant out there, so I took advantage of it to do the annual winterization around the house.
The situation was quite different, last year!
I was amused to look back at old posts and find we put the insulation around the house exactly a year ago today!
Just in time for the weather to turn. Raining ice pellets? I’d forgotten about that!
By the end of the day, we had tree damage and the power had gone out, and I was going around knocking ice off what I could reach, to prevent more damage.
Today is downright balmy and tropical, compared to last year!
Last year, when putting insulation around the house, I made do with what I could find, to keep the sheets upright. Bricks. Pieces of wood. Old tires. The little benches I found by the chimney block pile. The last of it was done with straw. Some sections kept falling over in the wind, and I kept having to find more things to lean against the insulation pieces.
This year, now that I know the chimney blocks and inserts will never be used to replace the chimney, since we will never hook the old wood burning furnace up again (the insurance companies really don’t like fire burning inside houses for some reason. 😉 ), I decided to use the inserts to hold the insulation in place.
I actually started the winterizing inside, in the basements. The window into the old part basement has a piece of rigid insulation cut to fit the opening. It fits perfectly, which means it take a while to get it lined up just right to push it in! In the new part basement, all the windows also have insulation cut to fit. Last year, I left them all, but this year I’d taken out the one in the south facing window, just to let some natural light in. That one got put back today, too. The others fit so snug, I didn’t want to fuss with them and never took them out. Plus, one of the windows is broken, so the insulation is the only reason we don’t have animals getting in!
The south facing section is the most awkward to fit the pieces in. Nothing really fits. The bench and bins are needed to make sure they stay in place. The pieces on the west side of the house fit snug against the basement walls, for the most part, and weight is placed against most of them more as a “just in case.” The ladders are left there for the same reason.
The north side of the house is another difficult area, because of the way the main floor/basement sections are. The insulation just doesn’t stay until there is plenty of weight to not only hold it there, but keep the wind from blowing them around.
As you can see from some of the photos in the above slideshow, I still used bricks – I didn’t want to have the chimney inserts directly on the ground – and we were even able to use the last chimney block that didn’t get used in the retaining wall (we do still have more of those in the old part basement).
One of the inserts had a hole cut in it, for the pipe from the furnace.
As you can see, Potato Beetle quite likes it!
In the process, I uncovered more bricks. We had already moved a bunch of bricks to the north of the house, where they will eventually be used to create a walkway between the house and a future garden of shade-loving plants. We used them under the chimney liners, and then just stacked a bunch neatly against one of the sheets of rigid insulation. I still put the little benches in between some of the chimney liners, not to hold anything in place, but to just put them away for the winter.
Last year, working around the tap involved just shoving small pieces around it as best I could, then covering it with a tire rim. This time, my daughter cut a slot into one of the pieces of Styrofoam to fit over it. We were able to line that entire west facing side, including the outer corner. Last year, I was having to use straw to cover the gaps.
We still need to get a straw bale to cover our septic tank. We also still need to get the tank emptied for the winter!
By the time this was done, the area where the chimney blocks was completely emptied! I could finally clean it up.
Which was interesting in its own way!
That will wait for my next post!
The house’s foundation, however, is now ready for winter! 🙂