Tips for Preventing Air Leaks from Your Home

August 29th, 2012

Have you ever wondered why your house becomes cooler quickly in winter and hotter in summer? One of the major contributors to this quick increase or decrease in temperature is air leakage. Air leaks occur when air enters your house through a crack or small openings. ¬†Problems of air leaks When cold air enters your house from the basement or attic, your house remains cold even if you turn up the thermostat. Air leaks during winter leads to excessive dryness thereby reducing moisture in your house. When air circulates in the house, it carries moisture that condenses on the walls, which may cause cavity and deterioration in the long-term. If you need to seal your house from air leakages, you first need to find the hidden leakages. Locating air leaks It is often difficult to locate and identify air leaks as they are very small and often go unnoticed to the naked eye. Mostly, air leakages are found in the attic or basement. You need to look behind knee walls, attic hatch, wiring holes, plumbing vents, door sills, windows frames, lighting fixtures and basement ceiling to spot air leakages. All these spots allow a lot of uncontrollable air into the house affecting the durability of the house. Sealing air leaks Doors and windows are a good place to start with. You can apply weather-strips to window frames and ensure that all cracks or openings are sealed. There are different types of weather stripping materials available in the market. You have materials like v-strip and compression-type weather stripping. You can apply a caulk paste to close gaps or joints on your door sills and make sure that your home is air tight. The maximum air leaks occur in the attic. Air leaks in your attic are caused due to improper ventilation, ice damming and when rain water enters the ceiling. You need to seal the leaks by pulling away the insulation, little by little and apply caulk. You also need to seal lighting fixtures, electrical wiring gaps and openings around chimneys. Improper ventilation can lock indoor pollutants inside your homes. Good ventilation also controls moisture content and stops condensation as well as bad odour. Your next step should be sealing any unexpected gaps in the basement. Basement walls are most susceptible to leaks as they are situated beneath the ground. If you also have leaks around pipes or floor-to-wall joints, then you have to go for waterproofing paints or cement based coatings. This will also keep mice and other pests from entering your house. Consult a contractor If you need professional help, you can consult an insulation contractor. The contractor will help you locate air leaks, guide you in choosing the right sealing materials and also give tips on proper ventilation. If you have a blueprint of your house, sharing it with the contractor will enable him to estimate the key leakage points. Blocking air leaks can make your home comfortable and maintain a normal temperature during winter and summer.