Pennsylvania gets its fair share of harsh weather conditions, from hot, rainy summers to cold, snowy winters. While weather fluctuations are normal and expected in Pennsylvania, they can wreak havoc on your home. We have compiled a list of tips for weatherproofing and protecting your home.
Check for Gaps or Cracks in the Siding or Foundation
Gaps or cracks in your home’s foundation are one of the easiest ways for cold weather to get indoors during the winter. Even worse, gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior could allow rain or moisture indoors, potentially leading to thousands of dollars in water damage. Small cracks are expected as normal wear and tear, especially with certain materials, like stucco. Smaller cracks are relatively easy to repair and can usually be done with a little caulk or sealant.
Schedule Stucco Remediation Services
Dated or worn stucco allows excess moisture and water indoors. One of the best ways to protect your home is to schedule stucco remediation services. Stucco remediation involves removing your existing stucco and any damaged materials underneath before replacing it with a new, more durable siding material.
The new siding material you choose will also significantly affect weatherproofing. Fiber cement is a popular choice because it’s highly resistant to wind and extreme weather. Some homeowners may also choose stone siding to replace damaged stucco.
Update Your Home’s Insulation
Your home’s insulation is important to keep warm air inside during winter. Make sure your home’s attic and crawl space have sufficient insulation. Updating your insulation not only makes your home cozier this winter but also helps to cool it more efficiently during the summer.
You can usually tell when your home needs updated insulation by feeling the floors or walls during the winter. If they feel cold to the touch, you may need new or updated insulation.
Check Weatherstripping on Doors and Windows
Your home’s doors and windows should have good weatherstripping to keep the outdoor elements outdoors. This sealant blocks exterior air from coming indoors and interior air from getting outdoors. You have a few options if the weather stripping is low.
You can replace the worn-down stripping with new materials. You could also update your home’s doors and windows if it’s time. Adding draft stoppers underneath your doors or around your windows is an easier, more cost-efficient, yet temporary solution. While this isn’t a permanent fix, it can get you through the cold winter. You can add some foam or caulk to other areas in your home where the air might escape, such as the outlets.
Keep Up With Roof Maintenance
Your roof is one of the most important features that protect you from the elements. Cracks or leaks in the roof allow rain, snow, or moisture to come indoors. Usually, the elements first make it into the attic, which can affect your home’s air quality. From here, they may leak into other parts of your home and, if left unresolved, could eventually turn to mold. Proper roof maintenance should include prompt repairs. It also means replacing your roof when repairs are no longer an option.
Maintain Your Gutters
Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of their home’s gutters to weatherproofing goals. If your home’s gutters are broken or blocked, it could lead to ineffective water flow from the roof. Eventually, water from rain or melted snow can flow indoors, affecting your home’s interior. Ensure your gutters work properly before Pennsylvania’s cold winter or rainy spring arrives.
Upgrade Your Home’s Windows
Your home’s windows serve a greater purpose than allowing you to see outdoors. Outdated or broken windows allow the weather elements to make it indoors. You could weatherproof your current windows or invest in new windows throughout the home. A clear indication that your windows need service includes moisture trapped inside or visible cracks or breaks.
Install an Outdoor Awning
An outdoor awning adds another layer of protection from rainwater and snow. Awnings also help control heating and cooling bills since they can block out sunlight during the summer. You can then retract the awning during winter to allow more sunlight inside for natural heating.
Know Your Energy Trends
It’s usually best to keep up with weatherproofing tasks year-round. However, you can also use information about your most recent energy use trends to understand when service is needed. A programmable thermostat makes identifying any changes to your heating and cooling efficiency easier. For example, despite a consistent setting on your programmable thermostat, a higher heat bill than in previous years could mean more cold air is getting indoors.
Winters in Pennsylvania can get cold. Before you layer up and accept the freezing temperatures, consider these home improvement projects to help weatherproof your home. Weatherproofing your home makes it more comfortable and protects it from excessive water damage.