Home Winterization Tips to Prevent Moisture Damage and Heat Loss
As the weather gets cooler and drier, moisture might be the last thing on your mind. But untreated moisture issues can cause severe damage to your home during the winter months, especially if your pipes freeze. Forgotten moisture prevention and heat loss sealing measures can lead to flooding and water damage from burst pipes, mold growth, and lost heat in the winter. Keep winter from damaging your home with these home winterization tips to prevent moisture damage and heat loss.
Winterproof Your Plumbing
Protect any exposed pipes by ensuring that they are insulated to prevent freezing, which could lead to bursts and significant water leakage. Wrap your water heater in blankets to keep it insulated as well. Plastic pipes allow for more expansion due to changes in temperature so if you have metal pipes, be extra cautious of keeping them warm with insulation. For indoor pipes, ensure that they never reach a temperature below freezing. A trick for cold nights and indoor pipes is to leave the cabinet doors where the pipes are enclosed open and to let the sink drip with cold water.
For external sources of water, turn off the water supply completely, and blow out your sprinkler and air conditioning systems as well as hoses to remove any remaining water in the pipeline. Also consider installing water leak alarms and automatic leak shut off devices in the event a leak does happen so you’ll be able to address the problem early on.
Seal Up Gaps Where Air and Moisture Can Enter
Gaps around your home can not only increase your heating bill as your home loses heat to the outdoors, but they can increase the humidity level in your home, making your home more susceptible to mold growth. Prevent moisture damage and heat loss by sealing up gaps around windows, doors, and any other spaces where air might be entering your home. Use mold-proof caulk between indoor surfaces where air is getting in and install or replace old weather stripping and door sweeps on doors leading outside. According to the EPA, these changes alone can reduce your heating and cooling costs by an average of 15%.
Consider installing a dryer vent cap if you don’t have one. If you have a dryer vent cap, clean it out and make sure it is sealed to eliminate heat leaving your home and prevent condensation from entering. If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned out before using it again to make sure it still functions properly. During the winter, keep the vent closed whenever the fireplace is not in use to keep warm air inside your home.
Winterize Your Roof to Prevent Moisture Damage and Heat Loss
Outside, prune any trees that are too close to your home and may lead to fallen branches that create problems on your roof. Also have your gutters cleaned to prevent blockages. Gutter obstructions can lead to ice dams caused by water build-up behind ice walls when ice and snow start falling. Check that your roof penetrations are sealed and any loose shingles are replaced, as unfastened shingles and unsealed roof penetrations can lead to water leaks and moisture problems inside your home.
Inside, make sure that your attic insulation has appropriate insulation to prevent heat loss. Proper ventilation for your attic is also important to keep your air clean and your humidity level down.
Check Your Outdoor Space for Moisture Traps and Gaps
Winterize your home from leaves, debris, and wood that can transfer moisture inside by keeping mulch, woodpiles, and leaves away from the perimeter of your home. Check the outside of your home and any outbuildings such as sheds or detached garages for gaps where moisture and air can enter. For brick homes, the mortar may need to be repaired; for other homes, you can use expanding foam insulation or caulk to fill gaps.
Get started on your home winterization and reach out to our professionals to help assess your home’s winterization progress and needs. Contact us today about gutter cleaning, insulation services, moisture sealing, and more.
Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. And Managed Services Group is now serving the Charlottesville region! As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at (804) 972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.