All of us Denverites can agree it’s been a cold week! Temperatures are expected to stay in the single digits and teens through the weekend. With no end in sight (or so it seems) to the frigid air, now is a great time to test your windows for leaks and seal up those extra air pockets to keep your heating bill down and your toes toasty warm.
Here are some tips for DIY window sealing:
The first step is to check for drafts. Either hold a lit candle close to the window seams (if the flame bends it signifies a draft), or check the caulk on the outside window frame (exterior caulk can dry out in the summer heat. If you find a lot of gaps and cracks, it’s time to re-caulk).
Now that you’ve identified your leaks, here are a few things you can do yourself to seal them up:
Remove old caulking first, then apply new caulking as needed. Polyurethane caulk works for both small and large gaps, so one tube should take care of a whole window. To begin, cut the tip off of the tube of caulk at a 45-degree angle so that the tip will fit nicely into the window seam, and load it into a caulking gun. Clean the surface as best as you can and make sure there are no traces of old caulking still left. Push the caulk along the seam in a smooth motion. When filling larger gaps, move more slowly to let the caulk adequately fill the space. Finally, use a wet finger to smooth out the caulk and give it a clean, finished look. Give the caulking 12-15 hours to dry and set, and your windows should be airtight for the season.
2. Weather Stripping
If your leaking problem is from loose fitting window sashes or a poor fitting door, the simplest and cheapest method would be to purchase some self-adhesive foam weather stripping. This rolled product can be easily installed at the bottom of a window or around the outside edge of the door frame. Select the smallest size that will help seal the gaps, then just peel and stick. Too large and you may have difficulty closing the door etc.
3. Window Film
Another good window treatment is the clear plastic window film that mounts to the frame of the window. Use a hair dryer to “stretch” the film, thus sealing any air leaking in around the sides or through poorly glazed panes.
4. Window Insulator Kit
Get a window insulator kit. It is made of a clear, plastic material that goes over the window, with double-sided tape around the edges to seal it. It’s easy to set up and helps a lot with drafty windows.
Give us a call at Gravina’s if you have any questions!