How to weatherproof your home

Weather can be harsh on a home, threatening its integrity and ability to keep those inside it safe and comfortable. Learn how to fortify your space against the elements that nature throws our way.

Vivian Tejada
August 29, 2023

Explore the series: Weatherproofing your home

Weather can be harsh on a home. Learn how to fortify your space against the elements that nature throws our way in our in-depth blog series on weatherproofing your home.

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As the seasons change and the elements test the durability of your home, ensuring that your property stands strong against wind, rain, and temperature fluctuations becomes essential. Whether you're a seasoned or first-time owner, understanding how to weatherproof your home can make a world of difference in maintaining the comfort, energy efficiency, and overall longevity of your property.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore a range of solutions that can help your home better weather any storm.

Ensure proper insulation and ventilation

Install reflective insulation in key areas of your home

Inadequate insulation can lead to unwanted heat transfer and large amounts of heat loss through your home’s walls, basement, attic, and crawl spaces. Enhancing your home's insulation can shield your property from unwanted temperatures and reduce your heating and cooling costs by about 20 percent. You can apply reflective insulation to various areas of the home, which is effective at preventing the infiltration of cold air.

Insulate windows and doors

Windows and doors are culprits for heat infiltration in the summer and cold infiltration in the winter. Reinforce these key areas by covering your windows with insulated drapes and caulking or weather stripping window frames to fix leaks. This simple upgrade can help you keep your home cool in the summer and warm during the colder months.

Insulating drapes are denser and thicker than regular curtains, allowing them to effectively block cold drafts from spreading throughout a room. Substituting your curtains with insulating drapes can enhance your home's warmth and overall comfort.

Weatherstripping involves applying insulation materials directly onto windows, doors, and other openings. This insulation method blocks outdoor elements and unwanted air from infiltrating the home, whether hot or cold. The Department of Energy provides comprehensive information on various types of weatherstripping options.

Install foam outlets and switch sealers on your home’s exterior walls

Light switches and outlets on your home’s walls often go unnoticed, but they’re notorious for allowing air leakage. Consider installing foam outlets and switch sealers on your home’s exterior walls. These sealers are placed between the outlet or switch and its cover plate to prevent warm air from escaping.

Improve ventilation for moisture control

To effectively weatherproof your home, you must control moisture levels year-round. Rain, snow, and hail all contribute to moisture accumulation within and around your home. Excessive moisture within the home often leads to mold and mildew growth, negatively impacting your home’s air quality. Consider using the following to enhance air circulation:

  • Exhaust fans: Strategically placing fans in areas prone to moisture accumulation, such as bathrooms and kitchens, can help reduce humidity.
  • Dehumidifiers: Placing a dehumidifier in damp areas throughout the home, such as basements and attics, will help extract excess moisture from the air.
  • Natural ventilation: Simply opening windows and doors whenever possible helps improve air movement and eliminates stagnant, moisture-laden air.

Strengthen your home’s exterior

Upgrade the roof

A critical aspect of protecting a home against harsh weather involves strengthening your roof. Keep an eye out for curled or cracked shingles, signs of leaks, or other indications that your roof is aging. Addressing these issues before rainy or snowy seasons is best if you want to avoid extensive damage. Consider installing hail-resistant shingles, as they provide excellent protection against the elements.

Maintain gutters and downspouts

It can be easy to neglect leaves in your gutters, especially if extreme weather is not frequent in your area. However, clogged gutters and downspouts allow water to build up, damaging both the gutter system and the roof of your home. Make sure you’re regularly clearing out the gutters around your roof to keep your home’s foundation well-maintained.

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Protect your home against extreme weather

Flood-proof your home

Flood barriers are essential if you live in flood-prone areas. They block water during heavy rainfall or flooding, minimizing the risk of water damage and reducing safety hazards.

It’s also important to protect your electrical systems from water damage. Elevating electrical panels and appliances is enough to preserve them and ensure they function when needed. It also reduces the risks of short circuits and fires during extreme weather conditions.

Hurricane-proof your home

If your home is located in a hurricane-prone area, you’ll want to do your best to hurricane-proof your home. Start by strengthening your home’s windows, gutters, and roof. Consider reinforcing doors and windows with impact-resistant materials, storm windows, or hurricane shutters. Seal any openings on your home’s exterior walls with waterproof material, and make sure your gutters are free of clogs. The roof should also be in good condition and capable of withstanding strong winds.  

Earthquake-proof your home

If your home is located in an earthquake-prone area, you’ll want to earthquake-proof your home. Focus on your home’s foundation and securing large items before an earthquake has the chance to strike. You can start by retrofitting the foundation and securing chimneys or masonry with durable straps. Earthquakes come with less warning than hurricanes do, so make sure you have a contingency plan in place for when an earthquake suddenly hits your area.

Winter-proof your home

The winter may not be a seismic event, but it is the toughest of the four seasons on a property.  Your home’s windows are particularly susceptible in the winter because warm air can leak through cracks in the window frame or through inefficient window glass. One way to effectively winterize your home would be to install honeycomb cellular shades onto your home’s windows.

Cellular shades are specifically designed to provide optimal insulation and improve energy efficiency. The honeycomb-shaped structure of these shades traps air, creating a thermal barrier that minimizes heat loss or gain. Installing them helps regulate indoor temperatures and conserves more of your home’s energy. They cost between $25 and $250 per window.

Additionally, to prepare your home for winter, ensure doors, windows, and other openings are properly sealed. Placing door draft stoppers beneath your home’s exterior doors goes a long way in preserving heat. Door sweeps act like weatherstripping by keeping the cold winter air out and the heat generated by your HVAC system inside.

Make the home more energy-efficient

Weatherproofing your home also involves making it more energy-efficient whenever possible. Energy-efficient homes come with a number of benefits, such as lower utility bills, less strain on various home systems, and a better ROI when it comes time to sell. Here are a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient:

Upgrade your HVAC system: HVAC systems can play a vital role in weatherproofing your home. Energy-efficient systems use advanced technology, like variable-speed motors and geothermal heat pumps, to adapt to changing weather and optimize energy consumption.

Install a smart thermostat: Another way to mitigate energy loss is to install a smart thermostat in your home. Upgrading your thermostat to one that can be programmed allows you to only use heat or cool air when needed. The regulated temperature control can help you maintain a comfortable home environment throughout the year. Smart thermostats cost between $175 to $1,000.

Replace older appliances: When you stop to think about it, your home runs on machines. Refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and even microwaves use considerable energy daily. By replacing older appliances with energy-efficient alternatives, you can conserve more energy and reduce unnecessary generated heat.

Final thoughts

Weatherproofing a home can seem challenging, but with a bit of attention, you can properly protect your biggest asset. When you notice weak or damaged areas on your property, it's best to handle them immediately. Delaying necessary repairs could lead to even more expensive renovations in the future.

If you're looking to finance upgrades or tackle much-needed maintenance — without taking on debt — consider tapping into your home's equity. Point empowers homeowners to unlock their equity for cash in exchange for a share of their home's future appreciation. There are no monthly payments or restrictions on how you can use the funds. Visit Point to learn more.

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