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Next time, WIN the Cold War. Be a HERO at ZERO!

It’s not unusual for homeowners to tell us we’re “heroes” for solving their long-running home repair problems — but it hasn’t gone to our heads. While keeping toilets flushing is certainly NECESSARY to sustain Western civilization, we acknowledge that Fix St Louis technicians have made somewhat fewer sacrifices than, let’s say, those at Normandy on D-Day who scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc.

Your humble correspondent will also acknowledge that, while running a successful handyman business isn’t easy, it doesn’t require the judgment and leadership skills of a man like Winston Churchill, who actually DID save Western civilization. But even though he protected our homes on a grand scale, there’s still a lot we can learn from him in regards to protecting and preserving our own personal home fronts.

For instance, how about that Cold War we just went through where the temperatures dipped to at or below zero degrees for a couple of days? If Churchill were a handyman king instead of a great statesman, he might have addressed Fix St Louis customers like this:

“Even though small tracts of our homes have fallen into the grip of the odious apparatus of the weather, we shall not flag or fail in defending our homes from the Cold War. We shall fight at the entry doors. We shall fight at the windows. We shall fight at the faucets. We shall fight at the pipes. We shall never surrender.”

Then, maybe after receiving thunderous applause, he might have called up to the podium this old handyman, and let me read his marching orders:

Frozen Pipes
You probably know by now which faucets in your home are most likely to freeze-up when the temperatures get super-cold — those faucets where the water stops flowing, then for hours or days you live with the fear the pipes might burst, and create a huge amount of water damage. Whenever the temperatures drop below 10 degrees, you should open both the hot and cold faucets on these, letting a trickle come through until the threat subsides. That should keep those pipes from freezing, and eliminate hours or days of worrying that they might.

If you have water pipes that FREQUENTLY freeze-up, it’s likely because these pipes run through an area like a crawl space, attic, or wall that lacks insulation. Fix St Louis can stuff insulation around these. Another option is asking us to wrap electric heating cable or tape around those pipes, possibly connected to an outlet or switch you can access to turn-off the power.

Outside Faucets
To prevent exterior faucets from freezing-up, and a catastrophe if they do, turn-off the closest water shut-off valve on the inside of your house when the temperatures dip below 10 degrees. If you don’t have an inside shut-off valve, call Fix St Louis and we’ll install one. And if your exterior faucet is not a “frost proof” style, let us replace it.

Entry Doors
There are 3 parts of your entry doors that are usually the culprits if cold air is coming in. The “weatherstripping” consists of the thin strips of vinyl (sometimes metal) material that line the sides and top of the door frame. The “threshold” sits on the floor at the bottom of the door. The “door sweep” is attached to the part of the door that swings (slab), either on the bottom edge or across the bottom on the inside. Check to see if cold air or light are coming in at these areas, then call Fix St Louis to fix or replace them.

If your whole house seems a little cold, check to see if there is enough insulation in your attic. Check to make sure there is a minimum of 9” of this usually pink material sitting on your attic floor, which provides a protection level called R-30. (Be sure NOT to walk between the wood joists unless there’s a plywood floor, or you may break or fall through the ceiling to the floor below!). If it’s 9″ or less in any part of your attic, call Fix St Louis and we’ll build it up until there is.

Other Holes in Your House
You should NOT see ANY daylight peeking-in from the outside of your house, except through windows and open doors. If you do, call Fix St Louis to plug-up those gaps, usually with caulk.

Hey, Sir Winston! Do you have any closing remarks?

“Yes, indeed I do. Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the weather. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties as homeowners, and so bear ourselves that if our homes last for a thousand years, our children’s children will say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

Oh, I was just hoping for something like “call Fix St Louis, one stop shopping for professional home repairs.” But, that will do.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis