Prepping Your Home for Fall & Winter (Tip 3 of 5)
It’s hard to imagine in the middle of August, but cooler temperatures are coming. This is the best time to prepare your home’s transition from hot Summer days to crisp Autumn evenings to freezing weather in Winter. Each day this week, we will highlight an area of home maintenance homeowners should tackle now so they can focus on seasonal events and family holidays later this year.
#3: Seal Drafty Doors and Windows: The windows and doors of a home let in more cool air than any other part of a home, which is why it’s crucial they’re sealed properly. One of the first things to do when weatherizing for winter is to clean dirt and debris from tracks and jambs, as a blockage can prevent the window or door from closing completely. On doors, clean mud or dirt caked weather stripping and replace any that is too worn. Doors should have weather stripping applied on both sides (jambs) and across the top (lintel) so that when the door closes, it has a good seal.
Older windows have their glass held in place with glazing putty. Over time, this glazing can crack and break — allowing the glass to wiggle loosely in the frame and let in cool moist air. The glass will also be more prone to break from vibration, making this a dangerous hazard to pets and children. Glazing needs to be done right. Keeping the angles and corners neat and clean preserves the window’s look and it takes some practice to master the techniques. Silicon caulk makes a safe and reliable temporary fix for the winter, but the window should be properly repaired and sealed to ensure a long, useful life.
If a piece of paper can pass under a door, the bottom of the door will need a new sweep – an inexpensive vinyl kit is relatively easy to install. Also, many entry doors made within the past 25 years have thresholds that can be adjusted with a screwdriver. This detail is easily forgotten by many homeowners. Drafts leak into a building through joints and cracks around door, window, and skylight units (frames, sash, and glazings). This leakage can waste energy in your home. Newer energy-efficient doors and windows are specially designed to seal, insulate, and reduce energy loss.