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Blog by Krisztina Neglia

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Dealing With An Older Home In Winter

Weathering the cold and dark winter months is a challenge for anyone, but can be especially difficult if you live in an older home. Older homes carry a lot of appeal but older homes also come with problems and a lot of them are brought to light in cold winters. These are common issues that should be addressed and corrected so that your focus is on friends, family and holidays, and not with home repairs.
 
Many older homes come with beautiful glasswork but unfortunately, these drafty, single-pane windows allow heat to escape, wasting energy and money. Replacement windows can be expensive but they are often the most effective way to increase energy efficiency and comfort.
Insulation overall can be a problem in older homes, and inadequate insulation should be supplemented with additional insulation, particularly in attics. In order to ascertain how much insulation you need, check with local sources to determine if minimum insulation ratings (R-values) are required in your area for new homes and then meet or exceed those levels in your older home if you can.
Outdated water pipes can cause huge problems if cold temperatures cause them to freeze or burst. Older pipes made of galvanized steel, iron, or lead may need to be replaced if they are not in good condition. Good replacement options include copper or CPVC.
Early sunsets can make the winter seem dreary and long, so simple steps to brighten the interior of your home can go a long way to lifting those winter blues. Add bright color to any room with pillow covers, flowers, or indoor plants. Likewise, giving a small space like a powder or laundry room a fresh coat of paint in a cheerful color can help brighten an indoor space without becoming a major project. If you've got a green thumb, you can also take this time to plan out your spring garden, reminding yourself of sunnier, longer days to come.
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Weathering the cold and dark winter months as a homeowner can be especially difficult if you live in an older home. Older homes carry a lot of appeal such as character, charm, and the fact that they are unique, but older homes also come with problems and a lot of them are brought to light in cold winters. These are common issues in older homes that should be addressed and corrected so that your focus is on friends, family and holidays, and not with home repairs. 

Many older homes come with beautiful glasswork but unfortunately, these drafty, single-pane windows allow heat to escape, wasting energy and money. Replacement windows can be expensive but they are often the most effective way to increase energy efficiency and comfort.

Insulation overall can be a problem in older homes, and inadequate insulation should be supplemented with additional insulation, particularly in attics. If you see a lot of icicles along one side of your roof, it usually means you have insulation issues on that side. The same goes for if you have snow covering your roof and one spot where the snow is melted. That indicates gaps in the insulation. In order to ascertain how much insulation you need, check with local sources to determine if minimum insulation ratings (R-values) are required in your area for new homes and then meet or exceed those levels in your older home if you can. 

Once snow starts to thaw, check for any signs of snow, leakage or moisture in your attic or in the insulation. You'll also want to check your basement for leaks once the thaw starts. Remember that ice can clog your eaves troughs and cause water to get close to your house. Keep eaves clear of leaves and ice. 

Outdated water pipes can cause huge problems if cold temperatures cause them to freeze or burst. Older pipes made of galvanized steel, iron, or lead may need to be replaced if they are not in good condition. Good replacement options include copper or CPVC.

Early sunsets can make the winter seem dreary and long, so simple steps to brighten the interior of your home can go a long way to lifting those winter blues. Add bright color to any room with pillow covers, flowers, or indoor plants. Likewise, giving a small space like a powder or laundry room a fresh coat of paint in a cheerful color can help brighten an indoor space without becoming a major project. If you've got a green thumb, you can also take this time to plan out your spring garden, reminding yourself of sunnier, longer days to come.