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How to Weatherproof Windows?

Drafty doors and leaky windows are a major concern for homeowners, costing them money as well as comfort. Leaky windows can let cold air in the summer and hot air in the winter to escape from your house, forcing you to run your heating and air conditioning systems longer than normal and causing your energy bills to skyrocket. Weatherproofing windows can prevent a major source of climate controlled air loss and can be done easily at home without having to call an expensive contractor or specialist. Any novice homeowner can weatherproof his windows, making the house energy efficient in very little time and for very little money.

Materials Required

Weatherstripping
Weatherproof window plastic
Adhesive tape
Hair dryer
Measuring tape
Utility Knife

Measuring

Before you weatherproof your windows, you need to purchase enough materials and weatherstripping. Measuring is the most tedious and time consuming part of the process. For each window, you will need to measure how long each of the seams is and total the amount. Next, measure each pane of glass to figure out how much weatherproof window plastic you need. If all of your windows are the same, you can measure one window and then multiply by the total number of windows you wish to weatherproof. Add 10% -15% to each of the estimate to account for waste, cutting, and mistakes.

How to Prep the Windows

Before installing window plastic and weatherstripping, you will need to prepare your windows so that the adhesives stick. Follow these tips to prepare your windows properly:

1. Check for damage and rotting. Any damaged or rotten pieces of wood are big sources of leaks and need to be repaired before weather proofing the windows. Cracked window panes will also need to be replaced.

2. If your window has individual, small panes, check to see if the interface between the glass and the wood needs to be caulked. If so, apply caulk according to product instructions and allow to dry completely.

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3. Clean the windows thoroughly. Adhesives will not stick to dusty windows, so it’s important to vacuum and then wipe down the windows with a damp cloth. Allow the windows to dry before applying weatherstripping and window plastic.

Installing Weatherstripping

For the easiest installation process, purchase weatherstripping that is self-adhesive. Self-adhesive weatherstripping comes in rubber and plastic and is backed with foam. Here is how to install self-adhesive weatherstripping:

1. Make sure the windows have been prepped properly or else the adhesive will not stick.

2. Measure out a length of tape that is slightly longer than the length of the window that needs to be sealed.

3. Starting at one corner, slowly peel off the paper from the tape and press the tape firmly into the window jam.

4. Apply the tape along the whole length of the window and then cut with a utility knife.

5. Repeat for all other windows.

You can also apply weatherstripping for doors too, which will help to stop all potential sources of air leaks.

Weatherproof Window Plastic

Weatherproof window plastic is an extra coating that you can add to your windows that acts like another pane of glass. It provides extra insulation and is transparent after installation. Follow these steps to install weatherproof window plastic:

1. Carefully cut out a piece of plastic that is slightly larger than the dimensions of the window or window pane.

2. Apply to the window or window pane and adhere the plastic with a piece of tape.

3. Use a hair dryer set on hot to shrink wrap the plastic to the window.

4. Carefully remove the tape.

5. Repeat on the other windows in the house.

Conclusion

Weatherproofing your house can save you a lot of money throughout the year and keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Weatherproofing should be done once a year in order to ensure maximum effectiveness since over time the adhesives can wear away.

Kelly

Kelly Sperber has been a professional writer for 5 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2011. Kelly enjoys skydiving, attending fashion shows, and gardening in her spare time.