Inspecting Your Windows-Fall Maintenance
Part of homeowner maintenance is finding ways to improve the efficiency of your home. Drafty windows make it harder and less efficient to heat and cool a home throughout the year. Windows are not maintenance-free, but with regular cleaning, caulking, and glazing they can be kept in good condition. Here are some quick steps from Mirowski Inspections on Fall Window Maintenance including, checking for air leaks, finding problems, and some easy repairs.
How To Inspect Your Windows
Take a close look at your windows both internally and externally checking for gaps, rot, or any broken components.
- Give your window a little tap- You can often tell if glazing needs to be replaced when you tap on a pane of glass and it rattles in its setting. DIY Repair: Caulk and nails into surrounding framing.
- Look for gaps-Look for open spaces around the window allowing heat and air to escape. DIY Repair: Seal air leaks by caulking and weather stripping around frames.
- Check locks-Make sure double-hung windows slide smoothly up and down. DIY Repair: Run a knife around the frame and sash to loosen any dried paint. Tighten cranks on casement windows and check that top locks fully grab latches.
Check for Air Leaks
Close your house up or wait for a breezy are easy ways to inspect for air leaks that can cause an increase in your energy bills.
- Catching a Breeze- Hold a lit candle or burning incense stick close to the window seams on a breezy day or after sealing the house (windows, doors, skylights, dampers…). Watch to see if the flame or smoke bends, if it does, it indicates air sneaking in from outside. DIY Repair: Check the caulk on the outside window frame and the glazing around the window pane. Using a putty knife, scrape away loose glazing and old caulk, clean surfaces and reapply.
Applying New Glaze
Apply a small bit of glazing to create a smooth slope along each pane of glass at roughly a 20- to 45-degree angle to the base of the window pane. Work the glazing until it is smooth. Paint over the glazing once it has hardened.
- Window glazing comes in either small tubs (to be applied with a putty knife or paint scraper) or a tube (to be applied with a caulking gun).
- The tub of glazing works best for small areas because by using a paint scraper, you can really compress the glazing into position for a tight, compact seal.
- Re-glazing windows requires a longer dry time
Applying New Caulk
Apply the caulk by moving the gun along the seam in a smooth motion while squeezing the tube with even pressure. When filling larger gaps, move more slowly to let the caulk adequately fill the space. Use a wet finger to smooth out the caulk and give it a clean, finished look.
- Cut off the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle so it will fit nicely into the window seam.
- One tube should be enough to seal a whole window.
- Give the caulk 12 to 15 hours to dry and set.