Weatherproofing Your Home Inside and Out for the Winter

By Cheryl Proska

Winter is filled with weather catastrophes. Between the “bomb cyclones” dumping mounds of snow, and powerful rainstorms toppling trees and power lines, it’s a wonder any home remains standing.

Weatherproofed homes are a necessity no matter the climate, and there are several uncomplicated and efficient ways to keep your home insulated, energy-efficient and safe.

Here are some weatherproofing ideas to consider for this winter and all of the seasons ahead.

Weatherproofing Outside the House

Inspect the Roof

Inspect the roof of your house, detached garage and tool shed. Make a note of and fix any loose shingles, structural damage or potential weak spots where an accumulation of water or snow could cause a collapse.

Give the Gutters a Good Once-Over

While you’re up on the roof, inspect the gutters for any issues including clumps of leaves, sticks, and branches. These blockages prevent water from flowing down to the ground and cause a build-up of snow and ice.

Also, make sure gutters are pitched at the right angle. When gutters aren’t pitched correctly, they overflow, and result in a flooded basement or worse.

Check the Storm Windows

If you have an older home, make sure all windows and storm screens are in good shape. Storm windows provide an additional layer of protection against the cold winter air and elements. While you’re outside doing an inspection, add some caulk to open areas to prevent rain, snow, and debris from getting in.

Weatherproofing Inside the House

Insulate Plumbing

The easiest way to protect plumbing from inclement weather is tubular-sleeve insulation. It comes in a variety of sizes and installation is painless. This sleeving will efficiently keep cold pipes from freezing and exploding while protecting hot water pipes from thermal loss. This quick install will make your electrical and gas consumption more efficient and lower heating costs.

Consider Honeycomb Cellular Shades

Honeycomb cellular shades keep cold air and drafts out. Lower them at night when the temperatures drop and open them during the day to let sunlight naturally warm the house. Best of all, some shades qualify for federal energy tax credits when installing inside double-glazed, weatherproofed windows.

Buy Door Draft Stoppers

You can buy a door draft stopper, or if you’re creative, make one yourself. Place them at the bottom of every outside-facing door to keep the cold air outside and the warm air from escaping the home.

Buy a Water Heater Insulating Blanket

Insulating your water heater saves energy by reducing the amount of heat lost through the sides of the water heater. One insulated water heater blanket will significantly reduce your heating and energy bills.

Invest in Attic Stair Covers

Much of the draft leaking inside your home is probably coming from the basement and attic. The door draft stoppers will reduce the frigid air emanating from the basement and attic stair covers will trap the air making its way down from the top of the house.

Attic stair covers are well-insulated lids designed to keep cold air in the winter, and hot air in the summer, relegated to the attic.

Consider Chimney Balloons

Chimney balloons are reusable “pillows” inserted and then fully inflated inside of a chimney. The chimney balloon fits securely beneath the fireplace damper to keep frigid air and the elements outside.

These straightforward changes will go a long way to ensuring your home stays warm and dry all winter long while keeping the heating bills as low as the temperatures.

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