Tag Archives: weather stripping

Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

winterWinter is getting closer. Yes, for most people this is not something that they want to hear. For avid winter sports enthusiast, it can’t get here soon enough. No matter whether you are celebrating the return of the snow and ice or dreading it, there are some things that you can and should consider doing to get your home ready for it.

Check your shutters

The first thing you should do is check your windows and doors. The windows and doors account for 40 percent of the heat that is lost during the winter. When you are inspecting your windows to make sure that they are sealing properly, also be sure to inspect the shutters.

A loose shutter can cause some problems during the winter. As the leaves fall, there is less of a barrier against the strong winter winds. If a shutter is loose now and comes loose during the winter, you may not be able to get to it to repair it until spring. That increases the chances of that loose shutter doing significant damage over time.

Add weatherstripping

You may also want to add some weather stripping to some parts of the windows and doors to help cut down on the drafts that get in. If you don’t have any experience adding weather stripping or determining the best things to do for your windows and doors for winter, you should contact a professional.

Securing interior shutters

Interior shutters can do a lot to help protect against those drafts as well. If you have interior shutters right now, make sure that they are closing properly. If you don’t have shutters, now is the ideal time to consider having them installed.

Not only will they improve the look, feel, and value of your home, they can help you save money on your heating bills throughout winter.

Winterize Your Patio Doors

Winterize your DoorsPatio doors are the perfect way to let some of the outside in without having to actually open up. They are great additions to any house but when they leak air, either hot or cold, they cause a lot of energy loss and that can cost a lot of money besides making your home uncomfortable.

If you have a drafty patio door and the winter winds are making their way inside, you don’t have to barricade off the area. You can fix it. The first thing to do is figure out exactly where the draft is coming in. Wet your finger and move it close to where it seems the air is coming. You should be able to feel it. If you aren’t sure, light a candle or a match and move it slowly around the area. When you are at a place where the cold winter air is coming in, the flame will flicker or dance.

The fix will depend on where the draft is coming in. If it is from the floor, you may be able to stop it with a simple draft dodger or draft stopper. You can buy one, make your own if you like to sew, or simply use a rolled up rug or towel (not the most elegant option) as long as it fits snugly against the bottom where the patio door meets the floor.

If you have a sliding door and the draft is entering from the non-sliding side you can simply use caulk to seal it. Use clear caulk and put it on neatly and remove the excess. After the caulk settles, use a match, a candle or a wet finger to make sure no air is moving through it. If the draft comes from the side where the patio door slides into the wall, you’ll need weather stripping. Put the stripping on the wall side of the patio door and position it so that when the door is closed, there is no winter air coming through. Weather stripping is inexpensive, so if you don’t get it right the first time around, try again.

Though not as common, latches and handles can leak as well. If yours are leaking, you may be able to tighten them with screws or place washers where they may be loose. If this isn’t possible, use clear caulk to seal off the holes, even if they’re very small.

The hardest leaks to fix are the ones coming from in between two sliding doors. You’ll need to use weather stripping, which can be tricky because it will need to be added between the doors. If you can’t get it into place, it’s best to stuff cloth between them and avoid using the doors as much as possible.  Another fix is to cover the entire door with plastic on the inside. This may not look very good and it can be hard to position such a large piece of plastic, but if nothing else works, this option will stop the draft.