How to Weatherproof Your House (Part II)
As bad as inclement weather is on your mood, bad weather is even harder on your home.This one is all about how to keep your house snuggly warm and dry as this thing called “weather” begins to rear its ugly head.
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For those of you who aren’t in Southern Califonia, you have this thing called “weather”.
As bad as inclement weather is on your mood, bad weather is even harder on your home, with storms, rain and cold causing all kinds of damage. If you’re prepared for it, you can easily protect your home from poor weather with some simple upgrades and repairs to the house. The key is to start weatherproofing your house before the weather turns bad to keep your home safe and to keep expenses down.
Now, I already talked about a little bit of this in a mom’s guide to weatherproofing your house, but most of that post talked about weatherproofing your family members (kids, pets, etc.).
This one is all about la casa, and how to keep it snuggly warm and dry as this thing called “weather” begins to rear its ugly head.
#1 Mind the Gutters
If you live in any area with leaves, you really need to make sure your gutters are clear.
When the weather is still dry enough for outside jobs, clean any leaves, twigs or other blockages from your home’s gutters. Clear gutters work properly, allowing rain water to run through them to the drains. Blocked gutters will overflow, which can end up causing damp to get into your walls, which is a costly repair.
#2: Beware the Damaged Roof
Look over your roof carefully and check for any damage.
This is one of those reeeeealy fun tasks like getting a root canal or vacuuming under the fridge.
Check for any leaks, holes or gaps where rain can get in. Rain getting into the roof can cause a major damp problem, and cause damage that is very expensive to repair. If you find any damage to the roof, get it repaired immediately before the problem gets worse.
#3: Insulation...Not Just for Your Thighs
Install loft insulation.
Similar to what we talk about with windows (see #7), effective loft insulation keeps heat inside your home during cold weather, which makes your home more energy efficient. A more energy efficient home is cheaper to heat, saving you money on the bills too, as well as making your home a little kinder to the environment.
If you’re not sure what you need to insulate, this futuristic gadget is the best way to tell where in your specific household setup your heat is getting out.
#4: TLC for Your Pipes
One of the biggest issues in super cold weather is frozen pipes.
Wrap your pipes (you can use something relatively inexpensive like this ½” thick pipe insulation) during cold weather to prevent them from freezing.
Frozen pipes not only stop your water supply from working correctly, but they can even end up bursting, causing an incredible amount of damage. Make sure you lag pipes that run outside or in cold areas, like the garage.
Hacky Tip: If your pipes do freeze, you can melt the ice before the damage is done by pouring hot water over them, or gently heating them with your hairdryer.
#5: Boilers, HVAC, and Fans...Oh My!
Make sure you arrange to have your boiler, heater, or whatever fan system you have in place serviced before the bad weather sets in.
The service should catch any issues before they become big problems, and will ensure your boiler (or whatever) is operating safely, and in the most efficient manner it can. Poor weather is hard on your large appliances, as they are the things that will be working the hardest to keep your home warm.
Book your service before this, so your large appliances are in the best condition to take on this hard work.
(We got completely blindsided by an out-of-order AC in the middle of a 110 degree heat wave one year only to find there was a two-week waiting list for a service appointment. Seriously, do this ahead of time. It’s miserable if you don’t.)
#6: Lighing, Lighting, Lighting
There are a number of reasons why lighting is super important.
First, if you’re like me, the lack of natural sunlight that comes with bad weather (or just winter in general) has a MAJOR effect on my mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, but even for those who don’t have an official diagnosis, the human body really just functions better with at least a little bit of sunlight. When we lived in New York, my then-fiance (now-husband) bought me this sun simulation lamp and it was a total game changer. (Not the only reason why I married him, but definitely one of them.) I left it on whenever I was in one place in the apartment, like laundry folding time, and it was seriously the only thing that got me through the really muggy disgusting periods of NY winters. Seriously a life saver.
Second, bad weather usually brings with it longer hours of darkness, which can make your home more vulnerable to break ins. If you’re worried, don’t make your home look tempting, and move any valuables away from the windows so they can’t be seen from outside. Put motion sensitive lights up outside the house. These lights work as a great deterrent against burglars, but they’ll also be useful. Coming home in the dark is never nice, but a light that comes on as you approach can light you safely to the door and save you scrabbling in the dark to get your key into the lock.
#7: Window Repair
Replace any old or damaged windows.
Yes, more repairs. Yaaaaay...not.
This one sucks, but it really does make a difference. If you repair any windows with gaps around them, it will keep cold air from getting in, hot air from getting out, and just generally prevent leaks.
Replacement windows will stop the heat from inside escaping, and will keep your home much warmer. Make sure you get double glazed windows, and hang heavy curtains to keep even more warmth in.
If you don’t want to go as far as replacing your windows, you can also get one of these guys to make your windows a little heartier when it comes to keeping your home warm.
Whatever solution you pick, you’ll actually get a pretty decent decrease in your heating bills when you deal with windows.
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