Inspecting my home before winter, I discovered that some floor boards on my deck were rotting already, even before the rains began. The seals in two of my weather-proofed windows were failing, as was the seal around my front door. And it was time again to attend to my gutters. Here’s what I did to cut the cost and hassle associated with these important winter home improvement projects.
Preparing My Deck for Winter
Wishing to minimize the expense of fixing my deck before winter, I decided to replace the rotten boards only. To avoid damaging adjacent, healthy boards while prying damaged ones out, I placed a ladder under the deck and hammered at the rotten boards until they loosened. I then replaced these sections with new 2×4 lumber, which I first primed and painted on three sides. Installing the wood with the white (primed side) facing up, I hammered the new sections in place and finished my home improvement project by painting over the nails and hammer marks.
Repairing Instead of Replacing My Damaged Windows
When the seal inside two of my double-paned windows began to fail, it spilled out hideously and the glass clouded. Not only was this unsightly, but the window was no longer energy efficient due to lose of insulation. Instead of spending a fortune on new windows, I called a window repair company, which left the original window frame in place and installed two new panes with a new seal between them. The cost was 80% cheaper than the price I was quoted for a full window replacement.
Next, using a silicone tube in a simple gun, I sealed any gaps around my exterior window frames where rain water could trickle through, causing water damage over time.
Replacing My Front Door Insulation
Though last winter I had insulated the doorjamb around my front door, the rubber seal had flattened. For $8 I bought a new seal. After peeling the old one, I simply applied the new immediately before dirt should adhere to the sticky residue left behind.
To increase the insulation around my front door, I then installed a porch door seal on the interior side of the door. Composed of a strip of molding edged with a rubber seal, this wooden strip fit easily over the door. I cut it down to the right height, then hammered it in place. Finally, I concealed the seal by painting it to match the door.
Refastening & Cleaning My Gutters
Since I live in the rainy Northwest, maintaining my gutters is an important winter home improvement project. Instead of using my short, rickety ladder, I rent an extra-tall ladder from my home improvement store, which ensures my safety while I work.
I first hammer any loosened nails back in place, to keep the gutters tightly fitted even when they become heavy with rain. Then, wearing thick work gloves, I scoop out any rotten leaves and debris, and deposit this smelly residue in a bag hung on my ladder. For hard to reach areas I use a cheap gutter cleaning tool which comes with a long arm (sold at home improvement stores).
Taking care of these important home improvement projects before winter will keep my family save and my heating expenses down.
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