Here in New England, we love our old homes. Their classic style, decorative details and beautiful craftsmanship are unlike anything else, but what you don't see tends to be anything but charming.
It is well known that historic and older homes fall victim to poor insulation, making them more prone to problems in the cold months, such as freezing pipes and ice dams. We all witnessed the devastation in Texas last week with the unexpected winter blast and the aftermath of poorly insulated homes. Unlike us cold-weather folks from the Northeast, people from that area of the country don't often think about preparing their homes for mother nature's winter wrath.
So what can you do if you live in one of these beautiful older properties? Let's start at the top. Insufficient insulation allows roofs to heat up, which encourages the formation of ice dams. Keeping your roof cold, preferably by installing proper insulation in the rafters or as a stopgap measure, helps prevent ice dams by maintaining a low temperature on the top floor of your home.
Keeping faucets at a low drip can prevent freeze-ups and get you through the frigid weather until long-term solutions can be installed
We recommend installing 12 to 18 inches of foam insulation along the perimeter interior of the sill from the basement. It's an economical way to gain energy savings and comfort.
Lastly, if there is a constant chill in the air INSIDE your home, check the windows. Windows in older homes are often one of the most striking features, but can be the culprit for heat escaping. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient units may be necessary. Caulking window trim and using weatherstripping also reduces air leaks.
At the end of the day, the only way to fix these issues is to give your home the update it needs.
There’s a reason people wear wool caps to bed in historical movies. They’re freezing! But these issues can be resolved. Your house can be gorgeous and cozy.