A Guide to Winterizing Your Home in the Country

Prepare your country homestead for cold weather with these tips, including how to winterize the plumbing, overwinter the garden, and keep livestock healthy and comfortable under shelter.



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This DIY pump warmer uses a light bulb to keep the pump from freezing
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
Chimney Sweep
When preparing your home for the coming winter, don't forget to clean out the chimney while the weather's still good, to avoid chimney fires.
PHOTO: JOHN KLEINHANS
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Keep pipes from freezing with heat tape. Apply carefully: don't let the tape twist or overlap, and secure it well.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
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Swifts glue their stick nests partway down unused flues in the spring and abandon them when they fly to wintering grounds. If you share your countryside with these birds, you'll need to clear the nests from your chimney in the fall.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
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Keep the worst of the frost out of the cellar with a computer-cooler fan.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
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For extra insulation, double-wrap windows with plastic sheeting, stapled on and held with lath, inside and out.
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Protect young trunks from winter winds with tar-paper trunk wrap. A loose tube of several thicknesses of poultry wire will keep rodents from debarking young fruit trees.
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In late fall, trim out any limbs that have cracked or look as though they might break under a heavy ice load.
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Keep buckets of water thawed with immersion heaters: thermostatically controlled, waterproof stainless-steel rods containing resistance-wire coils that plug into an electrical outlet and generate heat when the temperature falls below 40°F.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
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Reserve one section of the garden for an early start in the spring by raking up a couple of raised beds and covering them with black plastic sheeting weighed down with planks.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
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Keep chickens watered with heater bases for their waterers.
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Put together an emergency supply kit in case you are trapped by winter storms. Include a CB radio, batteries, a flashlight, matches, candles, and a first-aid kit.
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For small engines, check the transmission oil levels, service grease fittings, and grease drive chains.
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Cover hive entrances to keep out honey-hungry mice.
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When replacing engine coolant, tighten the clamps at each end of the radiator and heater hoses.
KAY HOLMES STAFFORD











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