Renovation Coach: Its’s weatherization time again
It’s that wonderful time of the year when falling leaves are filling the yard, we are planning for Thanksgiving and looking forward to the Yule Tide season. Temperatures begin to drop and you will be kicking your thermostat over to the heat setting soon. Weatherizing your home for the upcoming cold season is something you can easily do and if you are remodeling your home here are a few weatherization tips that will improve energy efficiency and comfort.
If your basement is unfinished insulate exterior framed walls and fill voids in studded corners to generate a well-insulated envelope. Inspect wall sheathing before you insulate to make sure there aren’t any penetrations, or damage from pests or water. If there is evidence of water infiltration, consider removing the exterior finish to repair any leaks. Insulation that absorbs moisture or gets wet will lose or greatly have its R-value reduced.
Caulk or seal any gaps along the sill plates and slab or foundation and chink or foam around windows and doors. Check your attic and upgrade insulation where missing or compressed. Look for any openings, chases or penetrations and seal these.
Should your home be built over a crawlspace, consider encapsulating the crawlspace and insulating the floor joist cavities to improve indoor air quality and minimize the introduction of moisture into the home. Make sure that the crawlspace is thoroughly cleaned out and free of all debris.
When installing new windows or doors insulate around the framing or wall cavities that become exposed during the installation. Properly flash around the opening before installing the new windows or doors. Caulk under thresholds to reduce any air infiltration. Add non-expanding foam around door and window jambs and framing before you install interior trim.
Check weather-stripping on all exterior doors and replace old or damaged stripping. Adjust thresholds or add sweeps to the bottom of doors to insure you have an airtight seal.
Lastly, making your home air tight can lead to back drafting of gas appliances. This occurs when powerful vent hoods or other fans operating create negative pressure in the home. Make sure you introduce fresh air to combustible air appliances and install carbon monoxide detectors for protection.
Weatherization can be accomplished quite easily and for a reasonable expense. So before it gets cold take steps to reduce those heating bills. Oh by the way, when it gets warm again, you’ll see some nice savings on those AC bills.
Jesse Morado is President of Renovation Coach, Inc. a consulting firm providing remodeling guidance and risk management services for homeowners. He also contributes to a blog for GetProContractors.com and is the current Education Committee Chair for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Jesse is also an experienced 203k rehab consultant. He can be reached at renovationcoach.com.