We were on the news twice last week. The nicest reporter interviewed us for ways to get ready for the cold weather. We all know about covering up the faucets and covering our plants outside, but are you getting a lot of cold air from leaking windows? If you are not ready to replace them, you don’t have to put up with the cold air that flows through. The answer is inexpensive and easy.
MD makes a window insulation kit that retails for under $20 that will cover up to five standard-sized windows. A window insulation kit consists of a thin plastic sheet and double stick tape. The plastic is completely invisible when stretched across the window and will give you a dead air space which is the best insulator. You want to attach the double stick tape around the frame of the window which is easily trimmed with scissors. Then pull off the protective paper off the tape and stretch film as tight as you can across the window. You can carefully remove the film and reposition it if you need. If you have any wrinkles in the film, use a hair dryer to straighten them out. Then you can clean the film with a micro-fiber cloth. This will seal out any drafts.
There are other things you can use to block cold air flow through the house.
MD also makes insulation kits for electrical plugs and sockets. Not sure you have a draft? Place your hand over the socket and see if it feels cold. Remove the existing plate, place the insulation sealer in place and then replace the original plate. Now feel the difference. The kits retail for under $4.00. Frost King makes a draft stopper that goes in front of your door so you can block cold air from that source. It retails for under $10.
I don’t want you to be cold this year. Check out your local hardware store for some of those items to use in your home. If you have a hard time finding them, let me know, and I will help.
I know by the time you read this Thanksgiving will be over. But I wanted to tell you a couple of things that I am thankful for….remember I said that we were in the news twice….later the same day a customer accidently drove through the front of our store. By the grace of God, NO ONE was injured…. scared us to death, but not one person was hurt. And the next thing I am grateful for is a new little one in our family. My nephew Mitch and his wife Molly welcomed a sweet daughter November the 20th. Mitch and Molly live in Houston.
Order your copy of “The Best of Johnnie Chuoke” Vol 11! It’s the best stocking stuffer!
Now to the email……
Question: I read your column every week in the Houston Chronicle and now have a huge stack of clippings for reference material. We live in a mid-century ranch-style house that was built in 1957. We have had leaks from the brick fireplace as long as we have owned it. We've had many repairs on the roof and flashing around the chimney, but it doesn't fix the problem. I spoke with an architect who said that the brick that was used then is very porous, and therefore absorbs the rainwater, so the leaks are coming from the brick itself which is absorbing and "weeping" the water into the house. What is the best "sealer" to paint on the brick so that the water will not "weep" through the brick and into the house? I am trying to avoid re-bricking the entire chimney. I would appreciate it if you could give me some guidance on this question.
Answer: Drylok Water Base 5% Silicon is a crystal-clear coating for exterior vertical surfaces. It’s an ideal product for your porous brick fireplace. You can put it in a pump-up sprayer and spray until it rolls down about eight inches. The idea is to flood the surface. You can also brush it on, remembering to flood the surface. If you have water stains inside on the brick, clean it with Acid Magic. Great question!