Spring is a time of rebirth, a fact that has inspired the old saying: “April showers bring May flowers.” While this delightful little rhyme romanticizes the rainy season, we are well aware of the very real damage heavy rains and other extreme weather can do to your house and your bank account. The experts from Morrow Mechanical are here with some tips to help you save on energy with DIY weatherization.
Vulnerable Areas of Your Home
Before you can become a DIY weatherizing extraordinaire, you will need to know which areas in your home to focus on. Here are a few places to start:
- Your Basement – One of the most vulnerable places for water leakage in your home is your basement. With proper weatherization, you can reduce the risk of water leakage from heavy storms.
- Your Doors and Windows – The wet weather of spring can cause wooden windows and doors to swell and stick. When dryer weather hits, the wood will shrink back, leaving gaps for your cool air to escape.
- Your Attic or Crawlspace – There are many air bypasses in your home that lead to your attic or crawlspace. These can cause your heating and cooling systems to work overtime to make the temperature comfortable. Some of these air bypasses include chimneys, plumbing vents, wires, interior walls, and exhaust fans.
- Your Roof – Your roof is an overlooked area that could help you save money on energy with the proper weatherization. You can easily transform your roof into a thermal heat deflecting surface with some DIY options.
- Your Gutters and Downspouts – Ineffective gutters and downspouts during heavy rain can cause water to run down next to your home’s foundation. Even if that water does not enter your basement, it can still erode soil from under the house footings, leading to cracked walls and ceilings.
- Weatherizing Your Basemen
- Waterproof your basement floors and walls. To start, remove paints, sealers, tile adhesive, efflorescence, and oils from the concrete. Then, use a shop-vac on the surface of the concrete to remove loose or crumbling concrete, mortar, dust, and dirt. Seal the concrete walls and floor against moisture with Radon Seal. Let the concrete dry out for a couple days, and then seal the other side.
- Add plastic film insulation to your basement windows. You can also use foam insulation spray to seal any air leaks around your basement windows.
- Weatherizing Your Doors and Windows
- Apply weather-strips along the frame of your windows and doors.
- Install new sweeps to older door sweeps. Close the door, measure its length, and cut a new wood sweep to the proper size.
- Cut highly-sticky foam tape to size and secure it in exposed areas around your doors and windows.
- Hang thermal curtains on your windows. These will help block the sun’s rays during hot summer days and keep your home cool.
- Weatherizing Your Attic or Crawlspace
- Insulate your crawl space door and access panel with a 1-inch foil insulation board. Then, add market weather stripping at the door seams.
- Seal up air bypasses leading to your attic with caulk and fire-blocking expanding foam sealant. Then, cut and fit strips of 24-gauge sheet metal between the masonry chimney and surrounding wood frame. Seal the flashing where it meets the chimney with high-temperature caulk.
- Install weather-stripping around the perimeter of the access opening to your attic. Then, screw hooks to pull the hatch taught against the weather-stripping. Glue rigid extruded foam insulation to the top of the hatch.
- Weatherizing Your Roof
- Apply cool roof coatings to your roof – If you have a low-sloped roof, apply cool roof coatings to single-ply membranes. If you have a steep-sloped roof, apply cool asphalt shingles. These provide better solar reflectance. If your roof has tile, apply cool roof coatings to make them more reflective and waterproof.
- Weatherizing Your Gutter System
- If your gutters aren’t firmly connected to your house, add fascia hanger brackets to fasten your gutters to your home.
- If your gutters are leaking, make sure all clogs and debris are cleared, and then use a proper gutter seam sealer to prevent further leaking.
- If water is getting behind your gutters, you may need to install flashing behind your gutters. Consider using a gutter apron to prevent splashing and dripping behind your gutters.
- If your gutters are overflowing, you probably have an obstruction that needs to be unclogged. If removing the obstruction does not fix the issue, install splash guards on the outside edge of your gutter corners.
- Extend your downspouts. This process is simple: 1) Cut your downspout at a 45-degree angle with a hacksaw or metal shears. 2) Attach the zip hinge with 8 screws. 3) Spray paint the zip hinge to match your gutter color.
Let the Pros Handle it
You now know some DIY projects to weatherize your home and save on energy this season. If you are looking for more ways to maximize the efficiency of your AC system, the experts at Morrow Mechanical are happy to help. For help with any of your HVAC needs, contact us today and allow our certified technicians to make your home spring-ready!