Saturday 29 December 2012

Keeping Warm

Winter has set in quickly here.
Alternating days of snow and cold have provided a real Canadian Winter.
And though we managed to finish up most of the outdoor projects,
the house has yet to be prepared for the cold.

Our home was originally intended as a three season cottage.
There's enough insulation to keep us alive but it takes some extra steps to make it cozy.
Also, the windows are single pane sliders that do little more than keep the snow and wind from blowing in.
They even lack the proper plastic tracks intended to give good action and some weather seal.

So the windows need to be locked and sealed with weather stripping to cut the draft.
Shrinking plastic over the whole window adds an extra buffer against the really cold nights.
Without any attention, the cold air pours in through the window edges.
New windows are on the list of things to do.

The screened-in porch also gets plastic over the screens.
This helps keep the snow out so that our coats and boots have a dry place to stay.
It's nice to have somewhere to strip off Winter clothing before going right into the house.
Adding the sheltered space also adds insulation to the house by protecting the south wall from the prevailing winds.

Of course, we haven't done any of these chores yet, having just finished with some more important jobs.
But the weather forecast is calling for a cold spell and the winterizing tasks have suddenly become more pressing.
The less we do to keep the cold out, the more wood we burn, which is another issue in itself.

But we have come a long way since moving into our home.
The first Winter was not only cold but also wet from the ice dams on the roof.
Escaping heat melts the snow and it runs to the eaves where it freezes.
After the ice builds up, any water begins to accumulate and then creeps into the roof and down into the house.
We had water pouring through windows frames and even into the kitchen light fixture.
Steel roofing and some ventilation changes helped solve that mess.
Those were the days before we put a proper foundation under the house.
The wind would whistle underneath and freeze the shower drain in addition to making for really cold floors.

Regardless of how the indoor climate is,
our home is our shelter.
It kept us safe even when conditions were at their worst.
And though it's still a challenge during the Winter,
we're thankful to be indoors and protected from the wind and snow.
Even if some of it sneaks in through the cracks in the windows.


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