Strengthening Your Old House Against the Cold

Posted January 9, 2023 by in Decor

If you’ve recently acquired an older home, whether you’ve bought it, inherited it, or otherwise, then you may have realized that it’s going to require some work to bring it up to modern standards. This isn’t just about aesthetics – older homes may not have the necessary features to properly accommodate your needs and keep you comfortable and safe, especially during the winter. To ensure that your home is ready to weather the cold, consider taking some steps to give it some extra care and attention. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips worth implementing to ensure you keep the home warm, cozy, and safe.

Check on your heating first and foremost

It’s best to do this before you even turn your heating on for the first time in the winter, but the second best time is right now. You want to ensure that you have an effective and efficient heating system that is able to hit every part of the home. If your heating system is as old as your home or it has been over a decade since you replaced it, then not only is it likely to be a lot less efficient than you would like, but it may also be prone to faults that could even make it more dangerous. Ensure that you get your heating system serviced yearly to keep it in good condition and highlight potential repair needs.

Keep an eye out for drafty windows and doors

Regardless of what kind of home you have, it’s very possible that you’re going to experience a draft that simply won’t let up, but old homes are a lot more likely to have them, and you can take care of them by sealing them as soon as you can. If you have a drafty window or door, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go about replacing it, especially if it’s still otherwise efficient and effective. You can seal those air gaps just as easily, which can stop those fault fixtures from stealing the warmth from your home. It’s always a good idea to keep a supply of caulk at the ready.

When caulking alone doesn’t work

Sealing up your doors and windows can help you fight air leaks and keep your fixtures more energy efficient but there does come a point where it’s going to take more work and investment to keep your windows working effectively than it would to simply get some new windows. Replacing your windows, especially with heating efficient options like insulating home windows, can make sure that you give your heating efficiency a significant boost, and can even help to update the visual style of the home a little bit. Inefficient windows are by far the most common cause of air leaks in the home and, at some point, you have to know when it’s going to take less hassle and money to simply put some new windows in.

Look up

One of the most important parts of the annual maintenance that your home needs, especially an old home, is a look up at the roof. All roofs, regardless of what material they use, have a lifespan that, once exceeded, can start to see them become a lot more inefficient. The tiles can start to weaken, becoming porous or harder to fit, allowing both air and water to pass through them a lot more freely. This means not only that hot air escapes the home, making it harder to heat, but also that leaks can start coming through, coming real damage to your home. If you haven’t had one yet, make sure that you arrange for a roof inspection. It may turn out that your roof is mostly fine, but if you need to replace it, it’s better to know that sooner, rather than later.

Look to your gutter

Aside from the roof, you should be looking up to check out your gutter, as well. They can pose a risk to the home if you haven’t cleaned them out this year, especially after fall. Leaves, twigs, and other organic debris can get caught in the gutter and can begin to plug up the drainage pipe leading away from the home. Water can build up and, when it can’t drain normally, it looks for other places to go, often wearing away at cracks or potential gaps in the wall, which can result in leaks into the home. If it’s particularly cold, it can even lead to dangerous icicles. As such, cleaning your gutters yearly is a must.

You can insulate more than your windows, too

Doors and windows might be the most common culprits of air leaks, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones, by a long shot. You should also look at whether or not your home has insulation in its walls, attic, and anywhere else that you would be able to fit it. In a lot of parts of the country, you can get an insulation grant or discount from schemes designed to make the home more energy efficient which can help you save some of the costs. If your home gets really cold, especially your plumbing, then you have to make sure that you insulate your pipes to prevent water from freezing in them, expanding in them, and causing them to crack or even burst, leading to costly water damage.

Mind your hearth

A fireplace can be a very charming feature, one that’s more common in older homes, and it can definitely be very useful in the winter. However, aside fro m stocking up on wood, you should also check to clean and sweep the chimney first, cleaning it of soot and other dirt. This way, the smoke can escape the home rather than backing up and filling the living room instead.

With the tips above, you can make sure that your old home can make it through the winter without having to freeze you and your family out.