Winter is a difficult time for most of us, when the summer sun disappears for a few months, the mornings get cold and it gets increasingly difficult to get out of bed. The only solace for this situation is that your home is warm and protected, and hence so are you.
However, winter is also the time where it starts to become really apparent that there are holes, cracks and gaps allow draughts into your home, letting warm air escape or cold air in or allowing insects and vermin inside. While all of these things are noticeable, we recommend that you repair them, before the joy of summer comes back quickly. By the time Summer rolls around, it will be less apparent where the problems are in your home, and letting hot air inside during the warmer months increases electricity costs related to fans and air conditioning.
Fill all Gaps and Cracks around the home.
These are more often than not the source of those horrible cold draughts in the house. You know, the ones that rip around your ankles or lower back until you are so bone cold inside that you feel like you’re in the Antarctic or so hot you feel like you’re in the Sahara Desert and reach for the air conditioner switch.
It’s a good thing to fill all the gaps in your home, no matter if that is the one that pushes the draught towards your favourite seat at home or not. But if you’re intent on finding the offending gap, grab a small lighter, flick it on and hold it up to the gap. If the flame moves, you’ve found a source of airflow.
So go around your home and check simple things like the edging of your architraves, skirting boards and cornices – they are often hiding a not-so-well concealed gap between plasterboard and brickwork. Fill all of these with something like our premium Sikacryl Super, a siliconised acrylic gap filler that’s so easy to use its worth every penny. Also check the edges around your door and window frames internally, they often pose the same problems.
If you have cracks in your wall, make sure you fill those with our Sika Filler products. These will patch up the crack and create a really smooth finish, while blocking any airflow into your home. Check out our complete guide to patching cracks like a pro.
Voids are larger, empty spaces around windows and doors that a traditional gap filler cant fill – so anything wider than about 10mm. These voids can also be found around large pipes going from the outside into your home, or where electrical cables or pipes go into the walls at the back of things like your oven or toilet. Even spaces between the edge of your guttering and your roof line can let in lots of cold air to your roof cavity space, which then sinks down into your living area.
In all of these instances, it provides the perfect way for draughts and vermin to find a way from the outside to the inside of your home.
In these areas, you want to fill up the space with an expanding foam like our SikaBoom AP. Make sure that you are generous with the foam, and really fill the whole gap to get the best result.
If you’re inside, you can then put additional pieces of plasterboard over the offending gap, sealing the whole thing tight with some Sikacryl Super once you are done to give a really professional finish to your job.
Stopping vermin getting in your home.
All of the advice above will help you dramatically with keeping vermin out of your home. But there is one last place that we need to consider, and that’s the kitchen. More often than not, vermin like rats, mice and cockroaches enter through exterior walls into your home, as we have talked about, but then start hiding in and behind your appliances in your kitchen. This is because of the unsealed gaps that often exist in kitchens, when finishing isn’t done properly. Especially in your kitchen, you need to make sure that all the joints between your kitchen benchtops and the edges of your floor and wall tiles are sealed well with a good quality kitchen and Bathroom silicone like Sikasil C AP. Not only will this protect your kitchen from water damage, it will prevent the roaches from having anywhere to hide and lay their eggs, preventing a full scale infestation.
A few simple DIY jobs during winter or before summer will help save your family from the heat, the cold and the vermin that often come with winter or the onset of summer. By checking for gaps and voids every year, and being vigilant with your home repair through the year, you can make sure you can protect your family from the worst of winter and summer, thanks to Sika.
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