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Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement Tips

Do-It-Yourself: Doors

Doors can be a significant source of air infiltration. Below are a few door weatherization tips:

  • Install weather stripping around doors to ensure a tight seal and reduce drafts.
  • Install a storm door to reduce air leakage and improve efficiency.
  • Replace inefficient doors with ENERGY STAR® rated exterior doors to minimize air leakage and enhance efficiency.

Do-It-Yourself: Air Sealing

Air infiltration can reduce comfort and lower the overall efficiency of your home. Below are a few air sealing tips:

  • Feel for air leaks around places like windows, doors and wall/ceiling penetrations.
  • Seal smaller air leaks with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.
  • Seal larger air leaks with rigid foam board, or another hard substrate, then foam or caulk in place.
  • Seal gaps around heated areas, like around chimneys or flues, with a high temperature caulk or metal flashing.

Do-It-Yourself: Siding

Below are a few tips for maintaining your siding:

  • For vinyl or aluminum siding, clean with a simple wet brushing or hosing off.
  • For stubborn areas of dirt, use harder brushing with 1/3 cup laundry detergent and 6 gallons of water. Add some chlorine bleach if fighting mildew. Work from the bottom up, in 5 foot vertical sections. Rinse with plain water, going over previously washed sections so the runoff doesn’t dry on an already cleaned area!

Do-It-Yourself: Windows

Below are a few tips for maintaining your windows:

Interior Glass

  • If your window or door has a removable interior glass panel, remove it to clean the inside. This may require an additional person, depending on the size and/or location of the glass panel. If the removable panel has a blind or shade mounted on it, pull it up and secure the cord to make it easier to handle.
  • To wash interior glass, use a premixed vinegar-based cleaning solution (or make your own with 10% vinegar and 90% water) and a soft, lint–free towel (paper or cloth).
  • Or you may use a glass and surface cleaner. Be generous with the amount of cleaner you apply. Rinse with clear water if streaks remain after cleaning. Avoid using glass cleaners that are ammonia or alcohol-based, as they may leave streaks or produce a film that attracts moisture or dust.

Outside Glass

  • To clean the outside glass surfaces, use a vinegar-based solution (as previously described) and a squeegee. If streaks still appear after a thorough cleaning, rinse the glass with clear water.
  • To remove grease or sealant on the glass, use mineral spirits sparingly, then wash with a vinegar-based cleaning solution.

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