Winterizing Your Home: Tip 3

We have survived the Texas winter thus far. Too many days have been already below freezing this year in my humble opinion, and we have not made it halfway through the first month! Too bad Mother Nature does not take my opinion into account when it comes to the weather.  Heck, even the meteorologists and weather anchors have a hard time following her moods. Preparing for the worst is usually a safe option, and BAM Builders is here to help ensure you are ready for any element nature can throw at your home.

In this installment, we are going to go over tips to ensure your house is properly sealed up. A good seal will prevent cold air from seeping into your home and derailing your budget and warmth.  While many people might speculate their house is sealed tight against blasts of frigid air, one might be surprised to learn that even small leaks around windows and doors are more common than you think.

Most home builders air seal a house as it is going up during construction. During this process, even the most detailed builders can miss small cracks that allow air to creep in from the outside. Door and window seals are where most homeowners will first check their seals. Attic doors and garage doors are problem spots that should not be overlooked. By checking your seals now, you will also be keeping that scorching heat out when summer rolls around.

One of the major safeguards which prevents foreign or outside airflow is caulking.  Tina Gleisner wrote a great article titled, “Caulking Windows Inside and Outside.”  She goes into details on caulking, the history of caulking, and the best way to do it. Here is a link to her article if you would like to read about the why and how of caulking.  (I highly recommend reading this article!) To summarize one of Tina’s points, caulking helps prevent air from leaking around your windows and doors. Re-caulking these areas when the old caulk gets worn down is one of the best ways to maintain your air seal.

Weather stripping is another common sealing method which should be checked. Weather stripping does an efficient job of keeping your home warm or cool; however, the stripping can become worn down much like caulking.  Most of your windows and doors have different parts of weather stripping around them that builders use in conjunction with caulking.  Sal Vaglica from This Old House wrote a piece on weather stripping that is excellent! Sal goes into a great description on the different types of weather stripping you will find, what they do, and how to replace them. This link will take you directly to Sal’s article.

There is a simple test to determine if your weather stripping needs replacing. This method is the best determination I have found yet for this check. Simply wet your finger and run it along your door and window seams. If you feel a temperature change on your wet finger, your weather stripping along that area needs to be replaced.

Now that we have given you another weekend project, it is time for me to sit back and start worrying about rechecking my own windows and doors.  You know where to find me for the rest of the afternoon now.  Enjoy your time maintaining your home, and always remember to be safe.