Does Your Home Leak?

December 11, 2015

It’s a mystery. You can sense it when you walk through certain rooms in your house. Your monthly utility bills offer some clues. The evidence, however, isn’t conclusive. You know your home is properly insulated? But does your home leak?

You may not need to hire Sherlock Holmes to help with your deductive reasoning skills. Not even Dr. Watson is needed for this case. We at Capitol Machine are well versed in the importance of adequate insulation – and sealing leaks – in your home. And we can point you to solving this crime.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the first step in resolving this riddle is conducting a search to find leaks. The department urges homeowners to consider hiring a technician to do a blower door test, which reveals the location of leaks. But a visual inspection may allow you to close this case. Experts suggest examining exterior areas where different types of building materials meet or are joined together, including:

  • All corners
  • Water faucets
  • Places where siding and chimney join
  • Places where foundations and walls join

does your home leak?

On the inside of your house, look for cracks and gaps in walls. Other areas include:

  • Electric outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Door and window frames
  • Electric and gas service entries
  • Baseboards
  • Door weather stripping
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- and window-mounted air conditioners
  • Cable and phone lines
  • Dryer vents
  • Vents
  • Attic hatches

protect your home from leaks

A home pressurization test may help pinpoint difficult-to-find areas, energy experts say. Steps to conduct a test include:

  • Turn off combustible appliances, such as gas furnaces.
  • Shut windows and fireplace flues.
  • Turn on exhaust fans that blow air outside, such as the dryer or the stove. You can also use a window fan to blow air out of rooms.
  • Use a lit incense stick to identify potential leak areas. If the smoke line moves, you’ve mostly likely discovered a leak.

Another leak-detecting method can be done at night with two people. The person inside shines a flashlight in a dark room at suspected leak areas while the person outside looks for light rays.

Read next week’s article to learn ways to seal leaks. Did you find this information helpful? What do you think about home insulation? Feel free to contact us with questions or to learn more.