Real Estate with Anessa Cohen

It is amazing how when the weather is sunny and life is good and fun, any house repair issues that came up during the snowy and rainy months are forgotten, filed away in that compartment of the brain that says, “Don’t aggravate me; the weather is great and I do not want to think about it until I have no choice!”

We all have compartments in our head where we file away stuff that is a nuisance to take care of or projects that are so burdensome that putting them off until some future unknown date (when hopefully they will take care of themselves) seems like the less stressful option.

Unfortunately, most of those projects we push off catch us real fast, and sometimes they are even more of a nuisance to take care of after we have procrastinated.

The last few weeks of snowy and icy weather made me think of all the people out there dealing with leaks and drafts from all this awful weather … leaks and drafts that are not surprises, but rather problems those people hoped would go away and not bother them for years to come.

Leaks and drafts are definitely not fun, but there are ways to deal with them that do make the quality of life better in your home. Let’s talk about some simple leaks that can be fixed fairly simply.

A leak from around a window or window frame can usually be repaired relatively simply with caulk and a caulking gun, though it can create a mess. Caulking around the outside seam of the window or window sill, and then again on the inside of the window sill, will not only prevent water from leaking in from those areas, but also creates a weather seal which keeps drafts—which play havoc with your heating—from entering the house. The caulking not only fixes your leak, but it creates an air seal, creating a more economical situation regarding your heating, as well as automatically making that area warmer than it was when the leak was present.

Another area that should be checked for leaks—air drafts as well as water leaks—are the seams of your baseboard heating or radiators that are affixed to the outer walls of your home. Over time, areas wear away near the seams of the baseboard or even the pipe, which leave cracks that can leak over time. Just caulking those areas again seals them and creates an airtight wall that protects the area from cold drafts.

I recently had a client who complained to me that her attached garage was so cold and that all the cold was seeping into the house, causing the temperature in the rooms adjacent to the attached garage to be really cold.

Years ago, I found a solution to the garage dilemma that really works. I had contractors open the ceiling and walls of the garage and either line all areas with thick insulation and then install sheetrock on top of the insulation, or make holes in the ceiling and wall areas and pump in foam insulation. They followed that with spackling and painting the ceiling and walls.

It was amazing how much of a difference this made. The temperature in the rooms above the attached garage went up immediately between 10 and 20 degrees, and the same with the rooms sharing the walls of the garage.

Leaks and drafts may seem overwhelming, but there are sensible and not-too-difficult solutions that can change the quality of life of the people living inside the home. The solution is much better than trying to forget about it and putting it off, hoping the problem will go away on its own.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com. Read more of Anessa Cohen’s articles at 5TJT.com.

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