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Open House: Winter Worries in the House

For some reason, when I was growing up, my house always seemed to fall apart in the Winter, which was the time when I was at home and indoors the most. The pipes burst. The creosote in the chimney caused chimney fires. The heater died after 20 years of working without a hitch. The plowman thought it was funny to plow all of the snow in front of our garage doors, with the cars parked inside. Really, nothing can go right when the temperature drops.

So, for this week's Open House, I want to hear about all of your Winter worries. Is the heating repairman your best friend these days? Are your floorboards creaky and contracting with the cold weather? Is there a squirrel storing nuts in your pipes? (Trust me, it has happened.) Are your neighbors less than diligent about keeping up with their outdoor maintenance? Tell me all about your past or current headaches by leaving a comment below. Next week I'll compile our CasaSugar complications, and we can all whine collectively. Hopefully, we'll be able to pinpoint what ails us the most and find a way to tackle our issues with the force of an army of readers!
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Charger Charger 8 years
Yea, no rain--my third graders and I were happy!But now I am sitting in my flat with my hat and down jacket still on...waiting for the heater to do its magic!
Charger Charger 8 years
Yea, no rain--my third graders and I were happy! But now I am sitting in my flat with my hat and down jacket still on...waiting for the heater to do its magic!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Today is a rain-free day! :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Today is a rain-free day! :)
mfern64 mfern64 8 years
Sometimes the street drain from the basement sump pump gets blocked by snow and ice so that the water being pumped from under the foundation has no where to go but back into the basement which can result in a burnt out pump motor. A contractor friend told me that when this happens, take the plastic cap off (where the pump pipe is on the outside of the house) and let the water dump out into the yard. The water shoots out a few feet away form the foundation, but that beats the alternative.
krazykarot krazykarot 8 years
Hm let's see.... our very old and originial windows are very leaky (using that plastic, hairdyer stuff only works so well) and for some odd reason our hot water heater has decided it doesn't want to work anymore. I'd say at least three times a week I'm taking a cold shower. In better weather it's easier to deal, but now that it's cold? ick!
Ava-Gardner Ava-Gardner 8 years
At present, I have three buckets collecting rainwater, two in my living room and one in my bathroom, a burst pipe gushing outside my bedroom window and my washing machine just spewed its watery load all over the kitchen floor.I think that my mothership is finally speaking to me and telling me that I have to become a roofer /plumber.
Ava-Gardner Ava-Gardner 8 years
At present, I have three buckets collecting rainwater, two in my living room and one in my bathroom, a burst pipe gushing outside my bedroom window and my washing machine just spewed its watery load all over the kitchen floor. I think that my mothership is finally speaking to me and telling me that I have to become a roofer /plumber.
anned anned 8 years
I live on the sixth floor and in a spot that gets tons of wind. I have a mini deck and that door is always letting in more wind than I can afford! I feel like it is never warm enough in my house.
Charger Charger 8 years
Bluesarahlou--oh yeah, TONS of rain!! And a lot of cold cold cold. I guess I do have a winter gripe: my heating bill! I have a kind-of crappy wall heater that tries hard, but I have to supplement it with space heaters. So expensive, and it takes a long time for my flat to really feel warm. I'm ready for a rain-free day!
Charger Charger 8 years
Bluesarahlou--oh yeah, TONS of rain!! And a lot of cold cold cold. I guess I do have a winter gripe: my heating bill! I have a kind-of crappy wall heater that tries hard, but I have to supplement it with space heaters. So expensive, and it takes a long time for my flat to really feel warm.I'm ready for a rain-free day!
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 8 years
Idk what sort of winter issues my parents are having, since I'm not at home. But I wanted to alert people to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning :( This is especially important because of high energy costs this winter-- do NOT bring in a grill from outside to warm up your house! If you're having money issues, check and see if your electricity/heating/etc. company offers a program for low-income homeowners. DO NOT try to heat your house using things that are not approved for indoor use, it's soo dangerous!
Neural Neural 8 years
Yeah, I thought of that, CJaneTyp. I may end up trying that.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Charger- I'm in Northern Ca too....we've been getting dumped on with rain for days and days, have you? My biggest annoyance is the gutter above my bedroom window is cracked and it leaks. So imagine having an incredibly loud waterfall outside your window when it rains. And don't even get me started on the building managers!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Charger- I'm in Northern Ca too....we've been getting dumped on with rain for days and days, have you?My biggest annoyance is the gutter above my bedroom window is cracked and it leaks. So imagine having an incredibly loud waterfall outside your window when it rains. And don't even get me started on the building managers!
CJaneTyp CJaneTyp 8 years
Neural- how about putting an awning or some kind of cover over your front stoop? When I lived in a town house I didn't think the hoa would allow it but when I explained my situation they ok'd it. Of course then I moved but it WOULD have been a good solution.
CJaneTyp CJaneTyp 8 years
When I had a townhouse I had the same problem with icicles forming above my door. Not only did they drip on my head and fall down but they made a constant ice slick down my front stairs. My biggest winter woe is the heating bill. I have a big house with two heating units so even though I just got new energy efficient, very high end windows my bill was still almost five hundred smackers. We run the fireplace for heat in the family room and that works well but once the fire dies down, the fireplace pulls warm air from the rest of the house. So, our energy efficient/ cost effective solution is a wood burning stove. That will allow us to use wood which we can get free from our property to heat the house while also preventing the warm air from being sucked out. Cross your fingers!
CJaneTyp CJaneTyp 8 years
When I had a townhouse I had the same problem with icicles forming above my door. Not only did they drip on my head and fall down but they made a constant ice slick down my front stairs. My biggest winter woe is the heating bill. I have a big house with two heating units so even though I just got new energy efficient, very high end windows my bill was still almost five hundred smackers. We run the fireplace for heat in the family room and that works well but once the fire dies down, the fireplace pulls warm air from the rest of the house. So, our energy efficient/ cost effective solution is a wood burning stove. That will allow us to use wood which we can get free from our property to heat the house while also preventing the warm air from being sucked out. Cross your fingers!
Neural Neural 8 years
Icicles! I'm in a 2-story townhouse and there's no covering over my front stoop so when the icicles form on the roof, I'm scared to death they're going to fall on me or my daughter while we're entering/exiting the townhouse. I've seriously considered getting like hard hats or something to wear when the icicles are out but I feel ridiculous. And, no, the icicles aren't reachable with a broom or anything that could knock them down.
emalove emalove 8 years
Not sure...I live in a townhouse now and I really can't think of any winter-related home issues that we have. I can't remember having any at my parents' house either.
raieven raieven 8 years
My windows leak water and the wall underneath the window in the kitchen "cried" the other night, the paint was bubbling and when we pressed the wall more water came out. We need double glazed windows but the landlord is not going to provide them.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Ice, huuuuuuuuuuuge issue. Any natural ways to get rid of it would be great.
Charger Charger 8 years
One thing that went right when the temperature dropped...someone took that photo. It is beautiful! Confession: I live in Northern CA, so I am not dealing with all the snow and freezing issues...so all I am posting is an "Awwww, pretty!!" comment about the pic!
Charger Charger 8 years
One thing that went right when the temperature dropped...someone took that photo. It is beautiful! Confession: I live in Northern CA, so I am not dealing with all the snow and freezing issues...so all I am posting is an "Awwww, pretty!!" comment about the pic!
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