What is Home Weatherization?

What is Home Weatherization?

March 18, 2020 Off By George

With cold, damp air infiltrating your house most mornings and heat leaking out, now is the time to come to the aid of your house. Cold, damp air takes its toll on people and household furnishings. Cool-weather also can affect your pocketbook. A leaky house will cost you money in the gas or electricity it takes to control the environment in your home. Moreover, you will find that these humid houses can harbor mold that can grow insides the walls and can be toxic as well. This is why you should check out  https://www.moldxpertsnj.com/ to learn about the best ways to get rid of the toxic mold that can grow inside your house. 

A close examination of your house probably will show that air is leaking through doorjambs, window frames, cracks in siding, appliance switches, the flashing between your chimney and roof, uninsulated water heaters and a dozen other places.

Just to keep things in perspective, you may want to divide the house into areas to inspect, including the roof, exterior sides of the house, interior sides of the house and the garage. Regardless of what you find, chances are you’ll be faced with either having to caulk or weatherstrip. Even if you have to replace something, you’ll probably have to caulk or weatherstrip around it. Home centers and hardware stores offer many types of caulk and weatherstripping.

Specific types of caulk are meant for specific situations. For example, you may not want to use the same type of caulk between the siding and the window frame as you would around the bathtub. So in addition to reading labels closely about which types of caulk to use, there are other guidelines to keep in mind.

Most homeowners today favor a relatively inexpensive latex caulk (a few dollars) because it’s the only caulk that can be removed easily with just water. Just remember that when you’re using a latex caulk for the outside of the house, it’s necessary to paint the caulk after application.

You can use latex caulk for almost any fixed joint in the house, but when it comes time to caulk a flexible joint, it’s time to use an expansive caulk. These are caulked that can expand and contract. Among this type are silicone, rubber, neoprene, and polysulfide (also just a few dollars).

While caulking is relatively simple, you also can make it an art form. The first task is to remove the old caulk. It’s not hard — simply breaking up the old caulk with a putty knife or a screwdriver — but it’s definitely not the “fun” part of the job.

Before applying the new caulk, all residue from the old caulk should be removed, and the surface should be clean of other foreign objects. If you’re using any caulk but latex, the surface also will have to be absolutely dry. Apply the caulk with a gun and smooth the edges so it covers all cracks well. You can smooth with your hand or a putty knife, whichever works better for you. In large spaces — say those more than 1/2-inch wide — you may want to use a rope caulk and then caulk with your gun around its edges. However, though it works well as filler, most rope caulks will last only two or three years.

There are many areas, though, where caulking is not practical. Areas you’d want to weatherstrip include around doors and windows, around room air conditioners, around the trap door to your attic and perhaps even around the garage door.

Though there may be a few areas of a house where it would be possible to either caulk or weatherstrip, usually weatherstripping is done around doors and windows.

Generally, weatherstripping comes in three types: metal, rubber, and vinyl. Metal weatherstripping comes in a variety of types, sizes, and styles. It can be made of aluminum — by far the most popular with homeowners because it is the cheapest — bronze, copper and even stainless steel.

Rubber and vinyl weatherstripping often are used on parts that move, while metal weatherstripping is used on fixed parts and parts that may demand a little more glamour than vinyl or rubber provide. For example, in most homes, air pours through doorways. Often the bottom of the door does not meet the threshold adequately. There are three ways to prevent air passage:

  • A door sweep may be added to the inside bottom of the door. This is simply a rubber or vinyl piece that runs the length of the bottom of the door and “sweeps” onto the threshold to cut off air.
  • A door shoe may be added to the bottom of the door. It’s a vinyl insert in a metal retaining device.
  • Instead of adding to the door, you may want to add to the threshold using a vinyl insert in metal.

While metal is by far the longest-lasting weatherstripping you can use, many of the new vinyl products have a much longer life than ever before. Be aware, though, that regardless of what you use, it probably will be necessary to replace weatherstripping every two or three years.