If you are looking ways to save money on energy costs this fall, you need to make sure that all the plumbing and wiring holes on the outside of your house are properly sealed up. This will, in a small way, help reduce your energy costs. As an added bonus, sealing up around these holes will also help you keep pests and insects out of your house as well.
Find The Holes
The first thing you need to do is walk around the outside of your house and look for any locations where a hole has been cut in your siding in order to allow either plumbing pipes or wiring into your home. One of the most common areas to find holes like this are near your HVAC system, as well as near any faucets.
If you have a basement, you may also have these types of holes going from your basement to your house. You'll find these types of holes in your basement around your water heater, HVAC system, and anywhere plumbing or wire are fed to the rest of your home.
You'll need to purchase a rubber plumbing boot from the roofing section in your local home improvement store for each hole that you find.
Remove The Old Putty
Generally, when these holes were originally created for your pipes and wiring, the contractor who installed them should have put putty around the hole. Over time, this putty often shrinks and gets chipped away.
The first thing you need to do is remove this old putty. Use a screwdriver to gently remove the old putty. Do not get too aggressive with the screwdriver; you don't want to damage the wiring or the plumbing.
Prepare The Rubber Plumbing Boot
Take the rubber plumbing boot and cut a slit in the top so that the wires and plumbing can go through the circular opening.
The rubber plumbing boot should have excess rubber around the center hole for the pipes; cut down the extra rubber so that the boot will securely fit over the plumbing. You'll need to cut a slit across the bottom so that you can slide the boot over the wiring and around the hole.
Glue It In Place
Once you have cut down the rubber plumbing boot and have fit it over the pipes and wires, apply silicone glue around all the sides of the boot. Push the boot into place, and run more glue around the outside edge of the boot. Hold it in place for about five minutes so that the glue has a chance to settle. Then, let the boot sit overnight and dry in place.
The next day, inspect the rubber boat and make sure that it is in place. Then, purchase some expandable foam. Stick the thin tube that comes with the expandable foam into the covering that directly surrounds the piping and wiring and fill up the extra space with foam. Spray the foam around the outside of the boot as well, where the wiring and plumbing are. This will ensure that no energy escapes.
Set aside a little time this weekend to find and seal up any plumbing and wiring holes on the outside of your house and in your basement. Sealing up these holes will reduce the amount of energy that escapes from your home, and will make it harder for pests of all sizes to get into your home.
Contact a sewer and drain cleaning professional for more help.