Maintaining your home’s weather protection is very affordable compared with the high costs of repairing the damage caused by water leaks, insect infestation, and the effects of allowing moss and debris to remain on roofs and in the gutters over winter.
Getting your home ready for winter
Home weatherization is also great way to improve your home’s durability and lower you heating and home energy consumption costs.
Let’s explore these essential home weatherization and maintenance updates and their costs:
- Roof Inspection and Repair
- Moss Removal and Roof Cleaning
- Gutter Cleaning, Repair and Replacement
- Exterior Caulking of Windows and Doors
- Adding Weather Stripping to Windows and Doors
- Adding Insulation to the Attic
- Exposed Pipes Insulation
- Chimney Cleaning
- Furnace and Water Heaters Maintenance Check
- Lawn and Garden Winter Prep
Note: handyman services and contractors often have minimum fees of up to $150 per visit to your home. For that reason, whenever possible, you will want to group these home maintenance and repair items when contacting service professionals for estimates.
Roof Inspection and Repair
Your roof is your home’s most important defense against the elements. When it is compromised, your home is susceptible to water damage, structural rot and weakening, mold and mildew problems and infestation from insects. That list of horrors is good motivation to keep our roofs in good health.
Your options include roof inspection from the ground using binoculars (good), on a ladder with friends holding it steady (better), or hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor (best).
If you have an attic, it the underside of the roof and attic walls should be checked for water stains. Roofs should be inspected twice a year and after major storms and wind events. Look for missing roofing material, cupped shingles, cracked shingles and shakes, loose flashing – any sign of damage.
- Roof inspection cost: $125-$275
- Roof repair: $7-$15 per square foot
Repairing a roof costs more on a per square foot basis than installing a new roof, and that’s why roof replacement rather than repair starts to make sense when 25% or more of the roof is damaged. This is especially true when the roof is 12-15 years old or older.
Most minor roof repairs will cost in the range $350 to $1,500, and most roofing contractors will have a minimum repair outcall fee of $250 or more.
Moss Removal and Roof Cleaning
Algae stained roof
Moss, algae and debris on roofing material, collecting in roof valleys and against dormers and upper stories is more than just an eyesore. They hold water against your roof and are acidic, a combination that can cause asphalt shingles to cup and fail, wood shingles and shakes to rot and metal roofing to corrode.
Living plant material must be gently removed from the roof with a stiff broom, starting at the top, to prevent roof damage. Stubborn moss and algae can be loosened with cleaners like Wet & Forget and Spray & Forget before brooming the roof.
If you’re not a DIY enthusiast, hiring an experienced professional for the job is the best way to ensure a clean roof that isn’t damaged. Hiring a pro will also keep you safely on the ground.
Home improvement professionals estimate costs based on the size of your home, whether it is a single-story or multistory home, the roof’s pitch and related factors.
- $32-$45 per gallon | Roof cleaners for DIY cleaning, 1,000-1,250 square feet per concentrated gallon
- $300-$800 | Professional roof cleaning cost
Gutter Cleaning, Repair and Replacement
Gutters easily clog with leaves, pine needles and debris. When they do, water will overflow them or cascade over them and fall next to your home causing problems such as a flooded foundation, stained or rotted siding and garage door damage.
- Gutter cleaning cost: $0.75-$1.50 per linear foot
- Gutter repair cost: $8.00-$12.00 per linear foot of damaged gutter
- Gutter replacement cost: $6.50-$9.00 per linear foot
Exterior Caulking Repair and Replacement
Loose and missing caulk allows moisture and insects to get into your home’s framing and possibly into your living space. The situation also allows warm air to escape in winter and penetrate in summer.
Your HVAC system will work harder, and your energy company will be happy to bill you for it. Inspect for loose caulk visually and by brushing it with a stiff brush.
Remove any loose caulking when it is found. If the caulk is more than 15 years old and some of it is loose, consider re-caulking the area. All loose caulk, dirt and debris should be removed before new caulking is installed.
- DIY caulk repair and replacement: $2-$5 per window or door for materials, more for garage doors
- Professional caulk repair and replacement: $6-$15 per window or door, up to $40 per garage door
Adding Weather Stripping to Windows and Doors
Effects of air leaks
Loose-fitting windows and doors are like loose caulk – a waste of energy and a potential entrance for moisture and bugs. Weather stripping is affordable and has excellent ROI in the form of lower energy bills and home protection too.
- DIY weather stripping: $0.25-$0.55 (25-55 cents) per linear foot for the various types of material
- Pro weather stripping: $4-$10 per window or door, up to $35 for a garage door