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COVER Weatherization Tips

Small gaps and sealing trim

Caulk is used to seal small gaps. A caulk gun dispenses the caulk.  Use silicon acrylic caulk for wood siding, masonry, metal, glass and tile. Qualities: Excellent adhesion and flexibility, weather-resistant, easy to apply, water clean-up, accepts paint and comes in colors and clear.

Use caulk to seal between the wall and the window trim. The surface should be clean and dry. Many caulks should not be applied if the temperature is lower than 40° as the caulk will not adhere.

    1. Insert the tube in the caulk gun and cut the tip off the tube with a sharp knife. Varying the depth and angle of the tip will affect the size of the bead.
    2. Pierce the plastic seal in the tube by inserting a long nail into the tip.
    3. Apply the caulk “bead” in a continuous motion, pushing the bead into the crack, by holding the caulk gun at a 45° angle to the work surface. Release handle before the end of the crack to reduce mess and waste.

Cracks and holes

Pressurized expanding foam is useful for filling larger cracks.  There are two types.  Expanding foam is used for large spaces.  Low/non expanding foam is use between window jambs or door jambs and framing.

    1. Wear gloves to protect your skin and shake the can thoroughly.
    2. Holding the can upside down, squeeze the trigger.
    3. Allow for expansion by filling the crack only 40% full. Unused foam doesn’t store well, so try to use the whole can.

Windows

Window plastic is placed over windows to reduce air leakage. Do not apply to the exterior as condensation can lead to rotting sills.

    1. Close / lock the window and clean surfaces (wiping with rubbing alcohol works well.)
    2. Attach the interlocking snap-in channels.  To cut them, either use metal snips or score with a utility knife and snap.  Now lace your pre-cut plastic over the window.
    3. Cut plastic 1″ wider and 1″ longer than the window and press bead firmly: start at the top, then bottom, and the sides last.

Applying weather stripping to windows or doors

    1.      Apply weather stripping so that it blocks drafts but does not interfere with operation.
    2.      In small areas like between two sashes, use V-strip.

Drafts under doors

A door sweep is used to create a seal against the door threshold. The vinyl type is easier to install.

    1. Measure the bottom of the door to determine the sweep length.
    2. For metal sweeps, cut equal amounts off each end of the sweep using hack saw to make sure the pilot holes are near the edge.  For plastic sweeps, score with a utility knife and snap.
    3. Check that door sweep overlaps without interfering with operation.
    4. Removing protective plastic from adhesive backing and stick the sweep to the door, or fix to door with screws (for aluminum sweeps.)

A door gasket is used to create a seal alongside the frame.  Install the top gasket first, then the sides.  The sides should butt up to the top gasket.

    1. Gaskets should be tight enough to hold paper but not so tight that paper can’t slide.

Outlets and switches on outside walls: use foam gaskets

    1. Turn off the electricity to outlet or switch
    2. Remove the screws holding the cover and install the gasket over switch.
    3. Remove perforated gasket center.
    4. Reinstall the switch plate and turn power back on

Pipe insulation

Hot water is often found in ½ “ copper pipe, cold is often in ¾ “ metal pipe.  Insulating both is a good idea as it prevents heat loss from hot water pipes and prevents both pipes from freezing.  Neither gas pipes nor white PVC require insulation.

    1. Cut pipe insulation, install around pipe and seal opening on insulation with duct tape.

TOP 10 STEPS FOR KEEPING WARM WHILE CUTTING HEATING COSTS FOR HOMEOWNERS

10. Make sure windows & storms are fully closed and latched.
9. Caulk air-leaking gaps & install foam barriers in exterior electrical outlets.
8. Place plastic bags filled with leaves against the foundation.
7. Have your furnace cleaned and tuned
6. Close off rooms not needed and drain pipes in closed rooms
5. Install programmable thermostats to keep house cool (60) when away or asleep
4. Shrink-wrap leaky windows
3. Insulate attic or crawl space
2. Have chimney and stove inspected if burning wood

…and Number One is

Help your neighbors

Thanks again for your efforts to help your neighbors keep warm and save energy this winter.