Time to winterize your buildings: best practices and tips.

Time to winterize your buildings: best practices and tips.

Cold weather is just around the corner; refer to this list for maintenance reminders to prepare your buildings for winter.


A) Clean the inside of the fans and shutters with either a broom or compressed air to remove any dust and dirt.


B) Seal the fan to prevent cold air from entering the building. There are many ways to do this: replace the shutter with an insulated panel, put plastic sheeting over or behind the shutter, etc. A reusable fan cover is one of the best ways to seal large fans. These covers fit the outside of the cone and attach with a bungee cord. Click for sizes and pricing.

Lightweight fan covers seal out cold air.


A) Unlike the shutters on the summer fans, the grime on pit shutters will require soap and water to clean thoroughly.


B) Check and seal gaps between the pit pump-out covers and the concrete wall. Gaps allow the air to short-circuit instead of being pulled from the pit.


Adjust rope and cables on actuated inlets to close any gaps.


A) Adjust the weights on gravity-style inlets to increase resistance and replace any missing or damaged baffles.


B) Put the actuated inlets in their close position and adjust the ropes and cables to remove any gaps. For more on fine-tuning inlets, see Managing transition ventilation.


Repair small holes with curtain tape on both sides.



           A) Raise the curtain and adjust any ropes to correct any sags.


B) Adjust the curtain until the top overlaps the opening by four to six inches. 


C) Reattach any loose curtain pockets. Repair any holes or tears with curtain tape or glue. Click to see curtain repair tape and glue. Link to our DIY curtain repair video.  


           D) Adjust the emergency drops so the length of travel is restricted.


E) You can increase the R-value of an uninsulated curtain by adding Tempshield, a lightweight bubble type of insulation.


           F) Grease the curtain machine and large corner pulleys.



A) Open the access doors and blow out the heater’s interior with compressed air.


B) Check supply hoses and regulators by applying soapy water with a spray bottle and looking for bubbles indicating a gas leak.


C) Start the heater to check the ignition and verify hot air is being exhausted. You can source heater repair parts by clicking this link.



A) Sweep building soffits clear of dirt and debris.


B) Seal any cracks or openings in the building structure with spray foam.  




Replenish rodent baits and stations. For more on effective rodent control, see Understanding Bait Rotation Key to Rodent Control and Bait Stations Improve Rodents Control. 


In addition to this list of basic maintenance tasks, there are several other items to check when the building is empty between turns.


1) Tighten floor fasteners on pen dividers.


2) Check slats and beams for cracks and pitting. See our Field Guide to Concrete Slat Repair and Replacement for detailed information on identifying damage and repairing concrete slats and beams.


3) Completely empty the feed lines. Check the oil level in the auger gearhead and grease the anchor bearings.