How To Seal Off Leaky Windows

The first big snowstorm of the year is almost upon us and many people haven’t finished winterizing for the year. hmmm *cough* me too *cough* and it doesn’t look like this will be a good thing.

Since we moved last spring we are finding that the windows here are much worse than they, were when we were, here years ago. So today I am finishing up winterizing the better windows that we did not get to after focusing on sealing the very leaky windows.

Why windows leak air

Windows can leak cold for several reasons. Most of these have something to do with the age of the windows though newer windows can still be an issue.

Older windows have a lot of possibilities. All of which we have seen this year with the old windows in this house. New windows are defiantly on the to-do list but in the meantime, we needed to get them blocked off for winter ASAP.

Some of the issues that can lead to leaky windows include:

Shifting of window frames:

This was a huge issue here due to nearby contraction a lot of windows no longer have a night seal from the shifting.

Broken windows or frames:

From having a chunk of glass broken out of one of the panes in a double pane window to a broken frame that allows the window to move in the wind there are a lot of ways a window can be broken but still make due until a replacement is in your budget.

Gaps in the insulation:

Over time insulation and weather stripping break down. As we prepare for storms we need to take the time to replace this every so often.

Leaks around the frame:

A lot of windows even new ones will have some leaks around the frame of the window from eh installation.

How to seal off leaky windows

Start by assessing your windows to see if you can find out why they are leaking air. Examine the edges of the window, the window frame, and other areas around the window.

Start by replacing any weather stripping that has worn down. Block off cracks around the edges of your windows. This is best done with calk for a long-term solution that looks good but if you are pressed for time grab a roll of duck tape and cover these areas.

If you have it on hand you can then fill in larger gaps with foam insulation. If you do not have the money and time to get foam insulation, grab the duck tape for this one too. You can always fill it in with insulating foam when the weather warms up again.

If your window is loose and can rattle and move in the wind you can block it off from doing this by placing a nail in the frame holding the window in place. This will help to keep your warmer and keep that window from getting in worse shape before you can replace it.

Add insulation to the whole window

As the cold air comes right at your window it can still leak cold air into your home from any leaks around them and the glass will radiate that extreme cold into your home. A great way to put an end to this issue is to insulate your windows.

For most windows, you can get a window insulation kit to do the job. Some dollar stores may have them on hand still.

You can build your own kit for much less if you need to do many windows. All you need is some plastic sheeting and tape. You can mimic this with things like plastic shower curtains from the dollar store if you do not have time or the budget to get better sheeting offline or at your local hardware store.

Use tape to seal around the window inside your home. The trick if you can only do one layer is to do this all the way outside of your window frame to catch any leaks. You can later clean away the tape residue with rubbing alcohol.

How to add more insulation to your windows

Once your windows are sealed off you can do a lot of things to add more insulation. I recommend adding more insulation to windows on the north side of your home. You can find the north side by opening google maps and see which side of your home points to the top of your phone screen.

Adding two layers of plastic one closer to the window and one on the outside as suggested for sealing off your windows creates an insulating air pocket.

You can use other forms of insulation against the window, between layers, or even on the outside of the plastic inside your home where y our curtains can cover them.

This can include bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, and even mylar emergency blankets from your first-aid kit.

I suggest adding thermal curtains to your home year-round if you have the budget. This will help to lower your heating and cooling costs and help make it easier to keep your home warm in the winter by insulating your windows.

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