I am one of those people who takes great pleasure in writing to-do lists and happily crossing things off, especially when I have a whole weekend with nothing scheduled. (Just for clarification, in my book nothing = less than two scheduled activities or less than three hours of total scheduled activity for a two-day period. I don’t think I ever truly have a weekend with NOTHING scheduled.)
This weekend I had a whopper of a to-do list with a special focus on fixing up the house. We seem to have developed a bad habit of identifying projects that need to be done (e.g. replace the garbage disposal) and then studiously ignoring them. Often it’s the simple fact that we are missing one key requirement (e.g. plumber’s putty) or simply feel daunted by the size of the project (e.g. insulation our crawlspace). I decided I would consider it a success if
1. We made it to the hardware store to buy the supplies we know we need
2. We weatherproofed our bedroom windows enough that I can no longer feel a breeze on my pillow.
I am happy to report that we succeeded on both counts although perhaps not as greenly or as elegantly as possible. I have heard some people argue that when it comes to insulating/weatherproofing one’s home, it’s okay to use less-than-green petrochemical-based products because the net savings on electrical consumption from coal-burning power plants will more than offset the product creation and disposal. I must confess I’m not entirely swayed but it helps me sleep at night after I use exciting products like “Great Stuff” insulating foam and sealant. Deep down, I will always be attracted to magical foamy squishy goo that sprays out of a can, regardless of its environmental impact.
Anyway, we used spray foam to fill up the cracks around our window frame (still waiting to put the trim back up) and were planning to use caulk around the window itself where the major leak occurs. Unfortunately, the caulk said it should only be used when the temperature is above 40 degrees and while that’s true in our house, it isn’t true outside and I’m pretty sure the caulk would be exposed to outside breeezes. So we resorted to a stopgap method of sticking weatherstripping along the seam to block the worst of the airflow until the weather warms enough for the caulk.
I figure we have another month or so to sharpen up our razor blades, scrape the old crusty caulk off every window edge in our house, and seal it all back up again. Ah, spring.