Maintain and Keep in the Heat

These days of frigid cold, it becomes more important and financially significant to do as much as you can to keep the heat in the house. Weatherproofing is the answer and there are many things the do-it-yourselfer can do. Some are easy, some require a little more effort. Most of our time is spent servicing our heating systems. That doesn’t help if the heat it produces leaves the house. We generally ignore the easy things like leaky doors and windows. And the attention you give to these things can reap a rich reward from a small investment.

Let’s start with doors and windows. Why? Because a significant energy loss occurs through leaks. I suggest you start outside. Pay attention to where different materials are joined. For example, look at where siding meets the window frames. Usually, there is caulking at these joints but caulking dries up and cracks after a while. One of the easiest things you can do is go around to all the windows – start with the ground floor first – and recaulk them. You need a ladder to access the whole window. Get a caulking gun. It doesn’t cost much to caulk and it doesn’t take much skill to do it. Any homeowner is capable. It’s one step more difficult and needs more safety consideration to the upper floor(s). First, you need a long ladder. Ask yourself if you are capable of climbing and working up high. Some people just don’t have the balance to do it. Some just don’t want to take the risk. In that case get help. If that doesn’t work for you, you can accomplish a significant amount upstairs by doing the caulking inside. Besides being safer, in the cold weather, it’s more pleasant. On a cold day, you can easily feel where the cold air is coming in and remedy the situation. I might also suggest that if your house doesn’t have storm windows, you consider installing them. Unless you have the time and are handy, I advise getting professionals to do it.

Leaky doors usually result from poor or missing weatherstripping on the top and bottom of the doors. Doors are opened and closed frequently so the weatherstripping gets worn down. This is another place where, on a cold day, you can actually feel the air coming in. If you don’t want the trouble of removing the doors, which you need to do. There are padded leak stoppers that can be placed against the door on the floor when they are closed. It can be annoying, but at least at night when the cold is the worst and the doors remain closed, it plugs up the leaks and can result in significant savings.

After plugging the leaks, if you want to do more, consider taking an insulation survey. I would begin in the attic where the most heat is lost. For the attic, particularly if it isn’t used as storage, I would bet fiberglass insulation. You just lay it on the floor of the attic. Fiberglass insulation is rated. Ask your supplier what R rating you need for your situation. Insulating the attic is well worth the trouble and expense.

DIY Roof Repair

Do it yourself roof repair can be a dangerous job if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you have no experience, especially on rooftops. I strongly suggest having any repairs done professionally for the obvious reasons mentioned. Several questions arise and will affect the cost. First, do you want to do the entire roof, or just repair what needs it right away?

If you are lucky, your neighbor is doing his/her roof and their house is the same age as yours. Carefully look at what they find and expect a similar situation at your house. In any case, it is certainly much better to check and repair a roof before it leaks, not after. If you delay, you may find yourself repairing not only the roof but also the interior walls. How do you identify roofing problems? Some things can be seen from a distance. Look for problems with flashing around vents and at chimney bases. Frequently, worn shingles can be seen without getting on the roof. Look for visible cracks or loose shingles. Most of the time, looking to repair the roof is prompted by leaks inside.

If you want to put yourself in a position not to have to think about the roof for awhile, invest in the highest quality materials available from your roofer. There are several types of roof coverings used. The most popular are architectural shingles which give a textured appearance. In years past, they were made of asbestos but that has been eliminated due to the danger of asbestos. An aside: if your house has asbestos roofing and it has to be removed for some reason, it can get very expensive because there are rules almost everywhere about how to dispose of asbestos. In many cases, that reason alone can prompt re-roofing over old roofing. Then there are cedar shakes and shingles which generally last longer than architectural shingles. Add to that clay and/or terra cotta shingles which became popular here in the late 1800’s because of their popularity in Europe. Repairing existing terra cotta shingles can sometimes be difficult because matching the shape and color is not easy. Most often, clay shingles have to be imported which adds to the expense.

Slate roofs are supposed to last a long time, over a hundred years is claimed. If you want a slate roof or if you have one that needs repair, make sure you get a contractor with experience on slate roofs. Slate is not only very expensive, it is very heavy and requires special equipment. Finally, there are metal roofs which are also quite varied and extremely durable.

Read This Before Fixing A Leaky Roof

The roof is a fundamental part of a house. Without it, we will be drenched in water once it is raining. That is why it’s troublesome once our roof is damaged and water starts to damage our ceilings, walls, and other things inside our homes.

If you noticed that you have a roof leak, it is advisable to fix it immediately no matter how small it is. Even for a short time, small leaks can lead to bigger problems – it can cause the spread of molds, rotten framing and may lead also lead to more damage to your ceiling.  Fixing the damaged area immediately may even save you tons of money and time for repairs.

The hardest part of fixing a damaged roof is locating the damaged area. Once you have located the area, it will be easier for you to do the repairs. You can even do it yourself without the help of any professional roofers. That’s how easy it is!

The most common source of roof leaks are usually items that penetrate on the roof. These can be roof vents, dormers, chimney or anything that can be projected through the roof. When you are trying to track down where the leak is coming from, it is best to look for any stains like black marks, water stains or molds. Once you notice these marks, the damaged area will most likely be just above it or can be a few distances to the left or right.

There are many ways on how to repair a leaking roof but the fastest way to repair it is by patching the hole that is causing the leakage with a piece of galvanized sheet metal flashing. You can easily find this type of sheets at any hardware or home depot center.

If you decide to do the repairs on your own, remember to always be cautious because it could also lead to a severe to life-threatening injury especially when it is your first time doing it. It is advisable to fix your roof when it is completely dry because a wet roof is slippery and could be very dangerous for you. It is also best to use rubber-soled shoes because they provide the best traction when working on a roof.