Unless you live in a region known for steady temperatures year-round, chances are the exterior of your home must stand significant variations in temperature of 40 degrees or more. And while people can add or shed clothing as necessary, our homes must weather the weather with the same equipment all the year through. Here’s what you can do to make these extremes less damaging and prolong the lives of your windows, doors and more.
Water, Water Everywhere
Rain, snow and ice wreak havoc on even the most well-constructed of homes if not properly taken care of. Moisture that seeps into wood causes expansion of the frame, which then cracks. It also forces nails out of holes, reduces energy efficiency and shortens the useful life of your windows, a costly problem.
You can keep your home’s exterior protected against these problems by checking each window and door exterior twice per year. Sand chipped or cracked areas immediately and re-stain them with a waterproof solution. Replace rotted areas, which when ignored allow water entry to the interior of your home.
Pay Attention to the Interior
Sometimes, your best clue that your windows and doors aren’t operating at the level they should is the draftiness you feel when you’re next to them. Run your hands through the air alongside the frame; do you feel a draft?
If you do, you can protect your windows further by installing vinyl weatherstripping alongside the interior frame. Not only will this save your heating bill, it will also protect your home from rain, ice and snow. Don’t forget to lock your windows and doors, too, because doing so creates a tighter seal.
If you’ve tried these measures but feel you’re fighting a losing battle, consider replacing your windows and doors with new models that are built to withstand varying environmental conditions. Keep in mind that add-ons, such as storm windows, do a lot to protect your home from the can’t-prevent environmental hazards of moisture, perhaps your home’s worst enemy.