Our homes endure a lot from Mother Nature – bitter winds, pouring rains, blazing heat, heavy snowfall, bursting pipes in winter, and more. As climate change accelerates, extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity across many areas. Weatherproofing your house ahead of time can prevent costly damage and maintain cozier indoor comfort when the elements bear down. Protecting your family’s refuge is about safety just as much as saving money.
If you live in Pittsburgh, known for cold winters, warm summers[a], severe winds, and plenty of precipitation year-round, it becomes even more crucial to weatherproof your home. In addition, most houses are built against hillsides[b]. So, there is a chance that water slips through cracks in the foundation of homes, which may cause cracks and leaks in the basement. Some key weatherproofing measures can help ensure your home holds up well against rain, snow, wind, and temperature extremes, as well as flooding.
Here are eight tips to make your house as weather-resistant as possible.
Choose Impact-Resistant Roofing
Cities like Pittsburgh often experience extreme weather, like heavy rain, snow, hail, and strong winds. These elements can damage your home if it is not ready for them. Your roof is the first line of defense against such harsh weather conditions. Hence, consider hiring reliable and experienced Pittsburgh residential roofers, because they know the local weather conditions and can guide you on the best roofing options for your home and area.
Instead of regular shingles, it is highly recommended to use impact-resistant roofing materials that can withstand hits. Architectural shingles work best. They have multiple, heavier layers so they don’t crack from hail or falling branches. The layers give more durability.
Weatherproofing your roof with sturdier shingles provides peace of mind. Homeowners know their roofs won’t leak and need repairs whenever stormy weather hits their area. Investing in a reliable impact-resistant roof is an investment that can save you money that would otherwise be spent on costly repairs should strong winds and snow damage your roof.
Seal Air Leaks
One of the most effective and affordable ways to weatherproof your home is to find and carefully seal any cracks or gaps that can enable the cold air outside to enter inside. This uncontrolled airflow allows heat to escape in winter and lets heat and humidity inside during summer. It can cause mold growth from excess moisture and substantially raise heating and cooling costs.
Carefully check around doors, windows, outlets, attic entrances, fireplaces, pipes, dryer vents, and wiring holes. Use caulk, spray foam, or weather-stripping to close air leaks. Pay extra attention to sealing entry points between the attic, basement, garage, and living space with high weather-proofing potential. Proper sealing can cut nearly 20% off energy bills.
Sufficient insulation installed correctly in exterior and interior walls, floors, and attics goes a long way toward shielding a home against outside temperatures. In areas where winters frequently have extended periods with extremely low temperatures, while summer heat waves can reach boiling point (figuratively, of course), ensuring that your home meets or exceeds the recommended insulation level for maximum effectiveness in your region is essential.
It is important to upgrade thin or poorly installed attic insulation layers. Addressing heat loss issues like cold basement foundation walls or drafty crawl spaces are all key insulation upgrades to consider for better interior climate control and reduced heating costs.
Waterproof the Basement
The wet climate leads to common basement flooding and moisture intrusion issues stemming from substantial annual rainfall and winter snowmelt. Key protective measures include installing interior drainage systems to catch seepage and pump it out, applying exterior foundation waterproof coatings to form a protective barrier, and installing French drains to divert groundwater from the home’s perimeter.
Additionally, routinely checking and clearing gutters and downspouts prevents overflow, directing water toward the foundation. Indoors, dehumidification maintains healthier humidity levels, preventing humid air and mold risks.
Install Storm Shutters
Places that have frequent hurricanes often get much attention regarding protective storm shutters. These shields serve a valuable weatherproofing purpose, defending homes against intense storms. The area frequently faces thunderstorms, bringing strong winds that can damage the houses immensely.
Installing temporary panels or permanently mounted shutters offers enhanced structural stability and security for windows. This helps prevent glass breakage, shields interiors from heavy rainfall, and insulates against winter and summer temperatures.
Choose Weather-Resistant Building Materials
Using specifically engineered construction materials to endure cold, heat, moisture, sun exposure, and other outdoor conditions will boost your home’s life and functionality. Some excellent weatherproof examples include durable cement board siding rather than weak wood. Composite decking containing no wood fibers (that can rot or catch mold) can prove useful. Moisture-resistant exterior doors and windows that won’t warp or crack strengthen the house. Natural stone veneers that adapt to the elements and UV-treated exterior paints that resist fading will fortify your home.
Even though the upfront cost may seem higher, choosing the highest quality weather-resistant materials like these will save your home’s life through enhanced durability and reduced maintenance requirements.
Prepare Landscape Design
A landscape design smartly adapted to the local climate can lessen weather impacts on a home. Evergreen windbreaks, shade trees, and covered arbors help moderate summer sun and winter winds. Grading soil away from the foundation keeps moisture away. Applying mulch to the base of the soil conserves soil warmth and humidity. A thoughtfully designed landscape creates an additional defense shield against extreme weather.
Invest in Backup Power
Some areas frequently face disruptive power outages because of high winds, ice, and heavy snow accumulation on trees and electrical equipment. This puts a lot of strain on the infrastructure. To counter weather-sparked interruptions, permanent backup energy systems like a standby whole-house generator, solar power arrangement with battery storage for overnight use, or large capacity uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units offer an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
In variable and sometimes extreme climates, advanced weatherproofing saves money on utilities and prevents costly repairs down the road. While these may seem costly, they eventually give you a protected home that stands firm against rain, snow, wind, heat, and cold. The cost is well worth the safety, security, and peace of mind. So, protect what matters most – your home and comfort – with these weatherproofing tips.