If you battled drafty windows or doors last winter, now is the time to take action to conquer those energy sapping openings. There are two roads to take…repair or replace. We’ll help you decide which is right for you.
Should I Repair?
Many cold weather problems can be solved easily and without much cost. Caulking, weatherstripping and adding insulation can all help improve your comfort and now is a great time to perform these repairs.
A few tubes of caulk and a little time can go a long way toward reducing drafts. First, scrape off any old caulk or peeling paint around the exterior perimeter of the window. Clean away dirt and dust and wipe surfaces dry.
Next, apply a bead of exterior-grade caulk around the outside perimeter of the windows creating a continuous seal between the window frame and siding material. Large gaps may require foam backer rod to fill the gap before caulking.
There are lots of options for weatherstripping. Foam, rubber, vinyl and spring-metal V-shaped weatherstripping are all available at your local hardware store.
Some weatherstripping is better suited for certain applications. For instance, V-shaped or tension-seal weatherstripping is a good option for the side channels of a double-hung window or a tight fitting door. Nifty gadgets called pulley seals block air from streaming though the holes where cords disappear into the frames. A new door bottom sweep can work wonders on drafts coming from the bottom of a door.
Follow manufacturer instructions and make sure the door or window opens or closes without difficulty before moving on to the next opening. Also, keep in mind that some peel and stick types should only be applied when temperatures are at least 50 degrees.
If you can access the area behind the window or door trim, adding batt or spray foam insulation can stop air infiltration. Be sure to use low-expansion spray foam made especially for windows and doors. And don’t tightly stuff batt insulation in the space between the window or door and the framing…it works best if gently inserted.
Or Should I Replace?
If you’ve tried to repair your draft problems and still have drafts, you’re likely ready for a replacement. Wood rot and other damage to frames or glass damage or seal failure will also require replacement or at least, major repairs. And, your windows or doors don’t need to be old to be ready to replace. We’ve seen poor installation methods that destroyed new windows or doors in just a few years.
Despite this alarming news, you can relax. You don’t have to replace all of your windows and doors at once to improve your home’s comfort. Concentrate on openings that are close to the living spaces where you spend your time. Bedrooms and living rooms will typically yield the most comfort improvements.
Call us today to check out your situation while the weather is still pleasant. We’ll walk around your house and help you determine if your windows or doors need to be replaced. We can help you find the perfect style and colors for your home and put together a replacement plan that meets your budget.