(HIB) – Winter may cause many homeowners to contemplate a new heating system or other major investments, but some small, smart investments can often go just as far toward protecting your home and saving you cash. Through the proper home maintenance techniques, you can keep typical damage caused by snow, ice and rain at bay and avoid major home repairs.
One of the best ways to protect your property from the elements is by sealing surfaces where rain, ice, wind and melting snow can intrude. You can save thousands in repair costs when spring arrives by sealing windows, doors, the roof and even the driveway now, before the damage occurs.
Seal from the top down
Winter elements – from temperature extremes, ice and snow, to wind, rain and water intrusion – can cause extensive damage to roofs, exterior walls, garages, windows, driveways, patios and pavers, sidewalks and other exposed areas. Sealing cracks in these areas can keep out winter’s intrusive, damaging elements and prevent costly problems.
Fall sealing prevents spring leaks
Many expensive, major spring roof repairs start as simple leaks that could have been solved through sealing. The most common roof leaks begin around chimneys, skylights, pipes, flashing and vents.
As part of your fall maintenance routine, seal these potential problem areas by troweling on asphalt cement such as Leak Stopper or All-Weather Roof Cement. Or try a new product – Black Jack Neoprene Flashing Cement, a 100 percent rubber formula that gets tougher over time.
For flat or low-slope asphalt roofs that are cracking at the seams, reseal with Black Jack Roof & Foundation Coating.
Take the chill off winter energy bills
Heat loss is a major cause of high winter energy bills. But according to Energy Star, you can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs – or up to 10 percent on your total annual energy bill – simply by sealing and insulating.
Outside, use 100 percent acrylic caulk to seal around windows, outdoor water spigots, door frames, wall seams and corners, garage doors and under eaves. Caulk anywhere pipes, ducts or vents enter the home. Seal around any seams or cracks in walls and ceilings. Indoors, seal any breaks in walls or ceilings with fume-free SMART zero-VOC elastomeric caulk. Also seal dryer vents, exhaust fans, pipes, ceiling ducts, recessed lighting and attic hatches.
Don’t forget the driveway
Road salt and driveway ice melt products may do the trick to keep driveways and sidewalks from being slippery, but they take a toll on asphalt and cement surfaces. Pitting and cracks from winter water happen, and salt and chemicals can intrude into small driveway or sidewalk cracks, creating major repair issues come spring. Sealing your driveway, sidewalk and patio can help prevent damage.
To avoid expensive problems, caulk cracks in asphalt or concrete with Black Jack or Gardner crack fillers. Then seal concrete (cement) driveways, patios and sidewalks with Krystal Brilliance, a 100 percent acrylic clear sealer that effectively stops salt and water damage. For asphalt (blacktop) surfaces, use a long-lasting sealer like Gardner Pro7 or Black Jack Ultra-Maxx 1000 to reseal your driveway.
The time and money spent on sealing your home now can save you thousands more when warm weather arrives. Visit www.gardner-gibson.com to learn more about sealant products.