Air leaks in your home can be devastating to your energy bills because the slow seepage of air that gets in and out of your home will only drive up your heating and cooling costs. But it’s not just your wallet that will bear the brunt of poor energy efficiency in the home, there are other factors that are affected by air leaks in and around your house.
Stopping the wasteful escape of your expensive climate-controlled is also imperative for increasing the durability of your home, providing you with more control over making your home feel comfortable and improving the condition of the air in your living space.
Two of the most effective methods for achieving these goals are the application of caulk and weatherstripping. They are both inexpensive, highly effective, simple to apply, and offer rapid return on your investment in a very short amount of time.
Caulk vs. Weatherstripping
How they work is rather straightforward, while both have similar purposes each is applied to handle different tasks for improving the efficiency of your home.
Caulk is used to fill cracks and gaps in areas such as door and window frames. This material is applied to stationary aspects of these components. Since your frames don’t move (or at least they’re not designed to move or shift in their spaces), caulk is the preferred solution for filling air leaks.
Weatherstripping is used to seal the gaps that exist on the aspects that are designed to move such as the doors and windows that are contained within your stationary frames. As these components age they can start to show small indications of warping or simply break down from so much use. This can lead to your doors and windows failing to shut completely and gaps are created, allowing your air to seep in and out.
Attaching some weatherstripping to the edges of those doors and windows can create the seal that has been lost due to that aging and deterioration.
Your home can begin to suffer the effects of air leakage when the air from outside gets in and the climate-controlled air you’re trying to keep inside slips out. This not only results in higher energy costs because it takes your air-conditioner or heater longer than usual to adjust the temperature indoors, but it can also have negative impacts on the air quality of the home.
You may also be facing other concerns related to excess moisture which can also lead to damage in and around the structure of the home in places that can be tough to reach and costly to repair. Elevated moisture has also been shown to have detrimental effects on the health and well-being of anyone who lives in these conditions for extended periods of time.
Some homeowners will actually allow these gaps and cracks to remain in their homes because they are under the impression that they add ventilation. But this is not a good idea and it’s critical that you identify and locate these leaks as soon as you can.
Once you are successful in determining where the leaks are occurring in the home you can take the necessary steps to fixing the problem. This is often a much more cost effective method of home improvement than installing new energy efficient windows and entry doors Virginia Beach. Though some homes may be in dire need of window replacement because there is just too much damage to repair, you should ascertain the source of your air leaks before you take such drastic steps for making the home more efficient.
Locating Air Leakage
Some areas may be easier to find than others but don’t be fooled by simply locating the obvious sources of leaking air. You will need to do a thorough and careful audit of your home’s energy efficiency and search for possible instance of leaks.
Drafty doors are pretty easy to spot as there is too much space between the bottom of the door and the floor beneath. Weatherstripping is the simple fix there, just attach a portion that is cut to size and you’ll shut that gap immediately. But what about those gaps and cracks that are much smaller and less noticeable? Do you even know where to look?
Let’s discuss some of the places you should turn your attention towards in order to locate and fix every potential problem area that might exist in your home.
The first places to check are those spots where two types of building materials connect or meet with one another. Diagnose the areas where the foundation and the walls connect or where brick and siding meet.
These are the most common areas where cracks and gaps often develop. Be sure to examine these areas in and out of the home so you can best tackle the problem with either caulk or weatherstripping:
Door and window frames
Electrical and gas service entrances
Outdoor water faucets
All of these locations are prone to cracks or gaps because they utilize spaces in the home that are designed for installation of stationary components that are not part of the structural framework of the dwelling. When new parts are installed into these spaces, they can eventually come loose or shift within place and that can create cracks and gaps.
Caulk is ideal for sealing leaks around window frames and door frames. But it’s also ideal for use near faucets, water pipes, ceiling fixtures, drains, tubs, and other forms of plumbing. That’s because caulk is water proof making it the perfect solution to prevent moisture from getting into the house and water damage taking root.
The choice to use weatherstripping is made when you need to fill gaps and cracks that are part of a movable joint or component that is also prone to friction and changes in temperature. Since this is a type of seal that works as the thing it has been attached to is moved in and out of place, your strip needs to have flexibility and durability to withstand that consistent movement. That’s why you’ll find strips made from a variety of different materials.