Last winter, my husband and I bought a house. We usually pride ourselves about making sure that our home is winterized and sealed properly. We have done the candle tests, the fan test and any other test that many places have suggested.
The best test that we found was good old fashioned seeing, is believing, and what do I mean by this?
Some of us may think that our house appears to be sealed for the winter months, but it really is not. There still are cracks that can be sometimes visible when the sun shines through. Also, you may have new windows but even those new windows can still leak.
One of the biggest problems that we have discovered is along the top of the foundation; this is where the house sits upon the foundation. There was an unusual amount of cold air that was seeping into our basement and we were in the process of making it a finished basement when we discovered this problem.
On a cold winter afternoon, I decided to approach the basement in the dark and shutting off all the lights and carrying a flashlight revealed that we had a big problem. We decided that the easiest solution would be to take insulation and insulate the ceiling, which was also our upstairs floor boards, but first we ran a bead of caulking along the crack between the area of the foundation and the house itself. Then placed the insulation into the area of the ceiling, one can finish this off with placing tile ceiling and inventing a drop ceiling, but this did not work as our basement ceiling then would have only been tall enough for the shorter people in the house; the kids.
Since we wanted to make it into a family room and a game recreation room we opted for the drywall ceiling and screwed it into place. Also, we wanted to ensure that the crack was indeed sealed and waited for the warm spring to apply the bead of caulking to the outside of the house.
It became a problem to winterize in the winter as there were not many warm days to allow the caulking the warmth to sit up and actually stick to where it was applied.
Then we headed into the attic, and as we all know heat rises. As the heat in our house was rising it was escaping directly out from under the space under the rafters. We decided that the easiest and cheapest solution was again the concept of patching the bigger spaces and then insulation. However, the attic is unfinished at this time and decided that the usage of storage did not need to be pretty just keep the hot air in the house itself.
For a lot of our winterization we had to wait until the Spring Season. This is when we had the largest of the job to complete. When our new windows were installed, they forgot to caulk around them inside and outside. We had done the inside caulking to the windows and it cut down some of the cold air seepage, but not all of it. After our inspections to the outside we also learned why one wall was amazingly constantly cold. There were gaps that were unsealed in the siding that was placed around the windows themselves. I guess would say that my husband and I are definitely caulking happy, but trust me it works.
The realization that our winter buy had brought cosmetic prettiness to our eyes as the summer season approached we were soon dealing with peeling paint that paint we discovered was interior paint, not exterior. We applied a new coat of paint to the area, and now have yet to wait for the winter month to continue to test out our winterization. It’s a start, but it does take awhile for a home owner to truly learn their house.