DIY Home Improvement Tips

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Do-It-Yourself: Doors

Doors are functional and look great, but they can also be a major source of air infiltration. Check out some door weatherization tips:

  • Reduce air leakage and improve efficiency by installing a storm door.
  • Reduce drafts by installing weather stripping around doors.
  • Replace old inefficient doors with ENERGY STAR® rated doors to enhance efficiency and minimize air leakage.

Do-It-Yourself: Air Sealing

Air infiltration not only compromises the comfort of your house, it also lowers its overall efficiency. Check out the following air-sealing tips:

  • Feel around windows, doors and wall/ceiling penetrations for any air leaks.
  • Use rigid foam board or another hard substrate to seal larger air leaks, then foam or caulk in place.
  • You can seal small air leaks using weather stripping, caulk or spray foam.
  • Seal gaps around chimneys or flues using a high-temperature caulk or metal flashing.

Do-It-Yourself: Siding

Check out the following tips for maintaining your siding:

  • Clean vinyl or aluminum siding with a wet brush or a hose.
  • For stubborn areas, use harder brushing with 1/3 cup laundry detergent and 6 gallons of water. Add chlorine bleach if you need to get rid of mildew. Work from the bottom up, in 5-foot vertical sections, rinsing the previously washed sections frequently so the runoff doesn’t dry on the clean area!

Do-It-Yourself: Windows

Check out the following tips for maintaining your windows:

Interior Glass

  • If your window or door has a removable interior glass panel, you’ll need to remove it to clean the inside. If the window has a blind or shade, pull it up and secure the cord. Depending on the size of the glass panel, you may need another person to help you remove it.
  • To clean interior glass, use a glass and surface cleaner. Apply cleaner generously. Rinse with clear water. Avoid glass cleaners that are ammonia- or alcohol-based, as they may leave streaks or produce a dust-attracting film.
  • You can also use a premixed vinegar-based cleaning solution (or make your own with 10% vinegar and 90% water) and a soft, lint–free paper or cloth towel.

Outside Glass

  • For cleaning outside glass surfaces, use a vinegar-based solution (as previously described) and a squeegee. If streaks still appear, rinse the glass with clear water.
  • To remove stubborn sealant or grease, use small amounts of mineral spirits, then wash with a vinegar-based cleaning solution.

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