weatherizing a 100 year old house

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

I think winter has arrived in Cleveland and the cold temperatures are here to stay.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love winter and snow and chilly temps but things are a bit different this year.  When one owns a nearly 100 year old house, you have to think about things that you wouldn’t if you owned a newer home.  And that person I speak of is clearly myself.

These days I’m trying to figure out how to keep drafts out and keep the heat I’m paying for inside.  Thanks to my friends at Duck Brand, I’m winning the battle.  I first became acquainted with Duck Brand through the crafting industry and then later their home weatherization products.  When I realized that their headquartered in the Cleveland metro area, I couldn’t wait to partner with them for Operation Weatherization at our house.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

This is the room that is now my office.  Those windows on the far end used to be a functioning door but has sense been sealed.  And not sealed well.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

I didn’t realize how bad I needed to turn my attention to this project until I went to take “before” photos and noticed leaves actually coming in underneath the former door.  We definitely were in crisis mode.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Because of the age of the house, modifying today’s weatherization products is necessary including for this former door and sidelight windows.  I chose two Extra Large Patio Door Shrink Film Window kits to tackle this area.

This is where I should mention that Duck Brand advises NOT to use this product on stained wood as it might damage it when removing the product at the end of the cold weather season.  I decided to do so anyway as restaining doors sounded like a better alternative than a very drafty workspace for the next few months.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Installation was easy.  I was even able to complete it on my own, although I did laugh later as I chose the most difficult project to tackle first.  As this was such a large window to install film over, I did tape along the top edge to insure a strong seal even thought the film is pre-taped along the top.  Double the insurance that everything will stay in place.

The film wasn’t quite long enough to reach the floor so I used the top section of film from another kit to fuse the two together.  The pre-taped top edge of film was adhered to the bottom of the previously installed kit to create one long continuous plastic piece.

After using a hair dryer to make the film taut, you don’t even notice that it’s there.  Unless you’re one of the cats who knew something was definitely up but were happy to be laying by the door again in their cat bed but minus the draft.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

I really wanted this Double Draft Seal to work for our door from the entry to the hallway but our doors are wider than present day door since they’re original to the house.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

My original idea was to remove the cover from one side of one Double Draft Seal and then connect it to another to form one long continuous draft seal.  In theory, it was a great idea.  In reality?  The threshold to the door didn’t allow for a smooth closing.  The door to the entry vestibule is where we hang our coats and put our shoes so we’re in and out a handful of times each day and a door not closing easily, especially if the girls were going in and out, wasn’t an option.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

I easily found a use for my longer draft seal.  The floor near the door to the backyard?  It just so happens there’s no insulation under it so it’s cold.  C-O-L-D.  And drafty.  I placed the draft seal near the toe kick of this set of cabinets to keep the draft at bay.  So far so good!

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

This would be the entry door that I mentioned earlier.  If you look closely, you can see the product that I installed already.  A Heavy Duty Door Shoe easily slipped on but again, I ran into the same problem with the door being wider than a typical 3′ door.  This is an easy remedy as you simply need another door shoe and then cut a piece to size and butt the two shoes together.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

A closer peek at the bottom of the door to the entry.  See the gap?  Oy vey.  The entry is not heated or cooled so all that air comes right into the house.  The door shoe has definitely made a world of difference although I’m planning to move it to the exterior front door and instead install an Aluminum Door Bottom to insure zero draft.  That’s a project for Andy’s to-do list this weekend.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Weathering this window over the kitchen sink was next on my to-do list for this round of weatherization.  I don’t believe this is an original window but it is quite drafty.  Since I had used the film in the large window in my office previously, this install was a piece of cake!

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Again, I used tape along the top edge of the window frame even though the film is pre-taped along the top.  I trust the product, not my poorly painted windows!

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

I left the overhang of film at the bottom so that you could see that it was indeed installed.  The film is so clear that unless you spy it along the edge of the window frame, you’d never know it was there.  Love that!

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Don’t worry about wrinkles as not having the film on perfect as once you take the hair dryer to it, it all pulls taut and disappears.

Weatherizing a 100 Year Old House | @melaniebauer at Melanie Makes

Like so.  Film installed, no wrinkles, creases or bubbles in sight!  A definitely noticeable difference afterwards.

Next on my agenda is switching the door shoe to the exterior front door and putting on a door bottom along the entry door the the house interior.  I also have a few other windows that would definitely benefit from some window film.  Both can easily be completed this weekend in no time at all.

Score = Melanie 1, drafty house 0.

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Duck Brand provided weatherization product to complete these projects.  All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

Comments

  1. our weather apps look unfortunately similar. SO cold. Happy weekend!

  2. ah, yes. we have many a sweet memory of winterizing our Cleveland apartment. :) stay warm, friend.

  3. I can totally empathize with you. I live in Wisconsin and before that Minnesota. So, I am all too familiar with the cold weather. I too can relate to the cold issues in your house. Except I hate to say, I have the same issues with windows and ice at the bottom of side lights, etc (more drafts than I care to mention, and my house is 9 yrs old). 14 windows, a patio door and the front door. Patio recently replaced, as was two windows… 2 down… 12 more to go. Then to tackle drafts at the sill plate, and fix my cantalever in the dining.

    • Hi, Michelle -

      Ironically, I moved from Wisconsin to Ohio. I’m not sure if it is as cold yet, but we definitely have gotten more snow thanks to the lake!

  4. I think a winter like this makes everyone think of winterization! Our home is 60 years old and we are still relatively new to homeownership. So needless to say there are a lot of things we could have or should have done this winter that are now on my to do list for Fall 2014. Our doors are especially drafty, more along the sides than the bottoms! #BYB100

    Happy to find another Cleveland blog too! Love your design!

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