Is your front hallway too hot in the summer? Are the living room windows drafty? Does the basement feel damp or always smell a bit musty? It goes by several names – winterizing, weatherization, weatherproofing – but whatever term you’re familiar with, it is the process of protecting your home from winter chills, fluctuating temperatures, and moisture. Winterizing actually protects your home’s exterior from the elements all seasons of the year. Since autumn is always a busy time for home maintenance, weatherproof your home this spring.
Inspect the roof.
Because the roofing system is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, start here to begin your weatherization mission. Look for damaged roofing tiles; then make the appropriate repairs. Missing shingles, tiles with curled edges, worn asphalt shingles (ones missing their protective granules), or cracked tiles can allow water in behind shingles or down into the underlayment, resulting in leaks and mold growth.
Inspect the gutters and downspouts.
A gutter system that doesn’t work efficiently is a liability to your home’s exterior. Overflowing gutters can splash water up into the soffit and fascia or down onto the siding or directly on the ground near the foundation.
As part of your weatherproofing home maintenance this spring, inspect the gutters and downspouts. Check seams, especially the corners, for any gaps or other signs of separation. Look for holes, noticeable rusting, and spaces between the back of the gutter trough and the fascia. And of course, clean the gutters once the cherry blossoms and other kinds of seeds and pods have dropped later in the season.
Inspect the downspouts to see that they are still firmly attached to exterior walls. Ensure there are no clogs at the gutter outlet (top) or in the middle (inside) or in the elbow at the bottom of the pipe. Make sure all hardware is in good shape.
Inspect the siding.
Siding that is worn, has missing panels, suffers from wood rot (wood siding), or is dented (aluminum siding) is compromised and will not fully protect your home. When inspecting the siding this spring look for colour fading (vinyl siding), dents, raised nail heads, and missing or damaged siding panels. Replace siding panels and/or sections that can’t be repaired. Quality siding typically lasts between 20 to 40 years, but regardless of how old it is plan on replacing siding that is quite damaged or you are constantly have to seal holes or do other “minor” repairs.
Look for cracks in the foundation.
When a house is having structural issues one of the first signs of trouble is cracks in the foundation due. Since water can enter a basement through cracks, plan to make repairs as soon as they appear. Hairline cracks or cracks the size of pinholes can be sealed. However, when cracks are obvious or you can insert your index finger up to the first knuckle, consult a professional contractor to give you repair options.
Repair and weatherstrip doors and windows.
Check to see if doors and windows open and close properly. If they don’t fit in their frames due to damaged hardware, warping, or cracks, air can escape from inside or enter from the outdoors. Fix gaps around entry doors and stop leaks around windows. Weatherproofing doors and windows can be a simple yet effective way to reduce your energy bills and make your home more energy-efficient.
Weatherproofing prepares your home to confidently face winter. Getting a head start in the spring has several benefits including improved curb appeal, better protection against potential water damage, and lower energy bills. If you do need to make major repairs doing them now in the spring won’t be as disruptive to the household as having to do them in the autumn or winter.