Your house is a living thing! Like your body, it requires care and attention to function well. For example, in the same way that you might adjust your diet and wardrobe with the seasons, your house also requires seasonal updates to remain comfortable and healthy year-round. We believe you deserve to live in beauty and elegance affordably, and we know that by making a little extra effort in caring for your home, you can avoid unnecessary and costly repairs down the road.
Fall is an ideal time to make small repairs that help your home be more energy efficient. This not only saves money, but it ensures that your house will do well in all seasons, regardless of the weather. These little adjustments go a long way in keeping you cozy and worry-free in the winter months.
Cost-Effective Tips for Winterizing Your Home:
1. Clean Your Gutters
They call it fall for a reason! By the end of autumn, there is typically significant leaf, twig, dirt, and debris buildup that has made its way into your gutters. This type of matter places excessive weight on the gutter fasteners, causing them to pull away from your house, creating a much bigger problem. To make sure water can flow freely through your gutters, schedule a cleaning before the first snow — this will help prevent ice dams from forming later. If you want to clean them yourself, here are some tips on how to do it safely and effectively. In some circumstances, gutters need to be replaced rather than repaired. If this is the case, we’re happy to provide an estimate.
2. Fix Drafty Windows
We’ve all passed by a poorly insulated window in winter and felt the cold air drifting in. If the area around your windows has cracks, it can create major inefficiency when it comes to cooling or heating your home. Caulking needs to be replaced periodically, and you should check for holes that need to be patched, too. You can either caulk the windows yourself or hire a professional to help. We recommend seeking help if you are inexperienced, as successful caulking depends on:
· Choosing the right type of caulk for your window
· Caulking completely dry windows
· Doing the work on a mild day
· Having the correct tools
3. Replace Weatherstripping Around Doors
Windows aren’t the only culprit in energy inefficiency: doors can be a problem as well. If you can see light around the edges of your doors, you need new weatherstripping. When shopping for new weatherstripping, be sure to take a piece of the old weatherstripping with you to the home improvement store so you can easily match it. To remove your old weatherstripping, simply pull it out of the groove, then cut a new piece to length and insert it back into the groove. Older doors can be retrofitted using rolls of self-adhesive foam weatherstripping.
4. Put Up Storm Windows and Doors
Storm windows and doors are mounted on the outside of existing window panes and door frames, respectively. While their main purpose is to improve thermal insulation and soundproofing, they can also protect glass windows from hail or flying branches during stormy seasons. Storm windows are also an alternative for homeowners who can’t replace their windows without losing aesthetic value when it’s time to sell. Historical homes are great candidates for adding storm windows and doors to improve efficiency while maintaining classic good looks.
5. Replace Less Efficient Windows and Doors
While we always encourage you to repair when possible, sometimes replacement is the best option! Adding double or triple-pane windows, insulated doors and insulated garage doors will significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home. Choosing the right replacement window or door for your home will not only make it more beautiful, it could also help save you thousands of dollars in energy costs.
6. Inspect Your Siding
Just as your skin protects your overall body, siding is the protective layer of your home that impacts its overall well-being by ensuring it is weather-resistant and energy efficient. Siding also has the power to determine your home’s curb appeal and value. Inspect your siding each fall by looking for cracked or chipped panels, separation, signs of rot, or damage from other projects. If you find any of these, determine whether your siding might require repair or replacement and make the repairs that will allow you to enjoy a cozy, well-protected winter.
7. Inspect Your Roof
Once the snow and rain begin, it’s important that your home is snug and dry. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should inspect their roof twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Routinely removing debris from the rooftop, drains, gutters and downspouts can extend the life of your roof. Check the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights to ensure there are no cracks or breaks which can lead to leaks. Don’t forget to head to your attic for an internal inspection. Check the sheathing and beams for any telltale stains, which are signs of a leaky roof. If beams of light are coming through the rooftop, it could be a sign that shingles are missing, and the wood has rotted through.
7. Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Fun fact: during the winter, ceiling fans should move clockwise so they push warmer air along the ceiling towards the floor. During summer months, it’s best if your ceiling fans spin counterclockwise to create a cool breeze.
8. Lower your water heater temperature
Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees per factory specifications, but lowering the temperature to 120 degrees can lead to greater energy and money savings with no ill effects.
These small things help keep the cold out, the heat in, and your energy bill down. Taking care of your home can also help avoid unnecessary work down the road while keeping your house looking great and functioning properly. We are always here for any needed repairs you find, any assessments you need, and for a makeover when you’re ready.
B&B Siding and Roofing is a local and family-owned company that specializes in exterior home renovations including roofing, siding, and windows. In business since 1993, we’ve exceeded the expectations of over 5,000 homeowners, while earning hundreds of 5-star reviews and developing an excellent reputation in the community. We serve many areas of New Jersey including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, and Union County.