Whether it is the freezing winter or rainy spring and summer, one thing is certain – the weather conditions outside won’t be so kind to your home. Extreme temperatures, hailstorms, coastal hurricanes, and floods often fall hard on old homes. What you do before the weather gets rough will determine whether your home will stand or fall apart.
Protecting your old home
No one likes to think about what bad weather can do to their old home. From dismantling shingles to introducing water, the damage is as diverse as it is real. You can avoid weather damage and the huge costs of repairs that follow by doing the following:
1) Trim branches and cut down trees
Trees beautify your yard. However, strong winds can turn them into missiles. Starting as a mild breeze, winds can pick up speed and mutate into a storm that sweeps your neighborhoods at 50 to 60 mph. As it gusts, the wind can break branches and uproot trees on its path. Woe unto you if there’s an old tree that stands close to your home. It’s likely to fall on your roof and damage it. So, cut it down before the weather turns rough.
2) Waterproof your basement
June through August is the wettest time in Columbia, SC, and one that’s likely to flood. Waterproofing this area can help prevent water damage that can turn into costly repairs. Along with waterproofing essentials like an interior drainage system, install a sump pump in your basement and a battery-operated backup, just in case the lights go out during a flood.
3) Install storm windows correctly
Old windows won’t withstand the onslaught of strong winds and rain. It’s even pointless trying to fix them. The best thing you can do is install proper storm windows all around the home. Storm windows add a layer of protection in winter when the air is cold and during spring and summer when precipitation is high.
4) Fix leaks around windows and doors
Leaky doors and windows can turn out to be more than a nuisance in bad weather as they let in cold air and water. An easy way of checking leaks is lighting a candle and moving around the window or door frames. If the candle flickers, a draft is coming in. You can fix the leaky spots with weather stripping or caulk.
5) Clean out gutters and drains
Lush green leaves might look pretty while up on the trees, but once they start falling down, they’ll block your gutters and drains. These leaves will obstruct water flow, which is another way to say water won’t have anywhere to go other than running down the sides of your wall. Such water can instigate internal leaks and dampness, which is bad for your home as it can cause wood rot and mold growth.
6) Look for loose shingles and bricks
Take time to check your home for loose bricks and shingles. Strong winds and rain can dislodge them. When this happens, water will enter your home and damage it. Re-insert the loose shingle, then secure it with a ⅞-inch roofing nail. As for the loose brick, pull it out, scrape the old mortar off, insert it back and apply new mortar around it.
7) Install draught excluders
Badly fitted windows and doors especially sash windows lose a lot of heat. During cold weather, you’ll find yourself running your heater for longer than you’d intended. Having your windows draught-proofed and fitting a keyhole cover in front will help lock out wind from the outside. You will save money on heating as you won’t be losing heat.
8) Invest in insulation
Old homes require more energy to keep warm. Almost a third of homes don’t have loft insulation, mainly because homeowners are afraid of the installation costs. Insulating your home can lower the heating costs by 50% during winter.
With a bit of care, your old home in Columbia, SC, can weather the storm or blizzard and you can get back to your normal lives when it eases or passes. Be sure to check the weather updates so you are aware of what weather is coming your way. This way, you’ll have time to weatherproof your home and if necessary, take your family and pets to a safe location.
Schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection with Mount Valley Foundation Services and find out how you can protect your home from water and moisture.