The first step in weatherproofing your home would be to inspect all the areas where cold air and moisture can gain entry. These areas include:
When inspecting doors look for light coming through. If light gets through, air and moisture will too! A very inexpensive way to conserve energy in both the summer and winter months is to install a door sweep.
A door sweep is fastened to the bottom of the door and is fitted with a metal and rubber flap that serves to close the gap found at the bottom of most exterior doors. Not only does it reduce airflow, it also serves as protection from water seeping into the home during heavy storms – a ‘must have’ in the winter rainfall regions.
For weatherproofing around windows, one can use manufactured rubber strips. These strips have a self-adhesive backing and are fixed around the inside of window frames to ensure that, when closed, windows have no gaps and are effectively airtight. To check for drafts, hold a lit candle close to the window seams. If the flame flickers it is a sure sign that air is coming in.
If drafts are coming through from the outside, check to see that caulking or putty is not damaged, and replace where necessary.
Checking your gutters and downspouts should be an annual inspection, but even more important before the arrival of winter in those regions that experience rain. Blocked and leaking gutters and downspouts can cause a build-up of water and can result in overflow and seepage into the building structure.
Autumn is the ideal time to ensure that your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris.
By adding insulation to your ceiling you will not only ensure a warm home during the winter months, but a cool home in the summer months as well. Ceiling insulation for a highly efficient thermal barrier and retains heat generated within a home during winter. It reduces heat loss by as much as 87%.
In the summer months, the sun beating down on the roof causes indoor temperatures to rise to uncomfortable levels. By adding ceiling insulation you can effectively reduce the heat flow between the outside and inside of your home, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Important: If you operate gas, natural or other heating appliances during the winter months a certain amount of airflow is essential.
Janice Anderssen is Women24's Decor and DIY expert. Ask her a question here or visit www.homedzine.co.za for more tips.
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