Jimmy the Renovator: Keep Your Home Cozy and Safe During Winter

As winter approaches, it’s time to start preparing your home for the colder winter months. 

Even a home that is well-insulated will often have small cracks and gaps that can make the house feel drafty. This is not only uncomfortable for the home’s occupants; it’s an unnecessary financial drain.

There are many things you can do to weatherproof your home, so you can feel secure your house is as comfortable and safe as possible.

All gaps around doors and windows need to be weather-stripped, and any gaps between permanent building materials should be sealed with caulking. The main goal here is to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Keep in mind, however, that there are different types of caulking designed for different applications. Read product labels and manufacturers' literature carefully, and ask your salesperson or a general contractor for his or her recommendation.

When using caulking don’t just do the windows and doors, look carefully at all joints between the foundation and siding, the roof overhang and the house, as well as any vents and anywhere wires, pipes or cables enter the home.

Indoors look for areas around pipes and vents, as well as checking if there are any gaps between baseboards and floorboards.

Weather-stripping will go a long way to preventing air leakage in problem areas, such as doors, and windows. There are different types of weather-stripping available for different applications. Again, a salesperson or general contractor can tell you what will work best.

Installing storm windows and storm doors are another way to reduce any heat-loss in your home.

Some homeowners like to add plastic sheeting to the window interior. Quick and easy to install, this product will prevent drafts and moisture problems. It doesn’t work for every household, though — homes with cats or young children in particular.

Another critical area to check is the attic. If there’s no insulation then you need to get some in there. Also check the entry to the attic for gaps as it can drain heat away from the rest of the home.

Another area that will need some attention is the gutters. Clean out any leaves and debris that has collected there. Next take a hose and get some water flowing through them to see where it’s going and determine whether or not you need extensions on your drainpipes to keep the water away from your foundation.

As with any home improvement project, weatherproofing your home is simply a matter of taking care of the details. Once you do that you can sit back and relax in the knowledge you’re in for a cozy winter — and saving money too.