Preparing your windows for winter can cut your energy costs and protect your home from moisture seepage. It's a good idea to examine your windows before rain and snow begin. If your windows are especially high, you can rent a tall extension ladder at a home improvement center. Most window winterizing projects can be done by the homeowner. Often windowpane damage can be dealt with by replacing the glass instead of the whole window. Here are helpful tips for winterizing your windows in a cost-effective way.
Caulk Around Your Windows
Wood window frames will absorb moisture over time and crack. Even the seal around vinyl and aluminum windows will weaken in time, developing minute flaws. By a simple process of re-caulking the seal around your windows you can keep moisture out and prevent cold air from seeping in.
Look for outdoor silicone caulk in clear or white, which is affordable and can be used for wood, vinyl and aluminum windows. Be sure to insert the tube in a cheap caulk gun, which will help with distributing the caulk evenly. Cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45 degree angle and hold the tip down against the outer perimeter of the window, working your way slowly around. Wipe off excess with a cloth or paper towel.
Re-caulk both sides of your window, the exterior and interior. And if you have French windows, check to see if any caulk is needed between the squares of glass.
Hang Heavy Drapes over Your Windows
You can cut your energy costs by covering up your windows with heavy fabrics that will buffer the cold emanating through the glass. Save money and match your decorating style by sewing the drapes yourself. Visit a fabric store for a wide selection of cloths, as well as no-hemming tape and curtain clip on rings. Be sure to cover large windows and patio doors, especially at night when temperatures are lowest.
Repair Foggy or Broken Windows
If your double-paned window looks foggy, the seal between the glass panes has failed, resulting in water penetration. You may even see the black seal melting along the glass. In such a case, your window is no longer energy-efficient and should be repaired.
Instead of replacing the entire window, save money by looking online for a company specializing in defog window repair. They will replace the glass and seal while leaving the original window frame in place. As a result, your window repair cost can be cut by as much as 80%.
Prime & Paint Exposed Frames
After the hot summer, check your exterior window frames for chipped paint or rot. Use wood filler to reinforce any damaged wood. Then prime the surface before painting it to match your home. You'll find the wood filler, primer and paint at your home improvement store.
Protect Low Basement Windows
If your basement windows are low and surrounded by window wells, it's a good idea to cover the surface with plastic shields or bubbles. This will prevent flooding through the window in the event of water rising due to heavy rain or snow. Prices for window well covers vary depending on size and style; therefore run a search for the best price on the internet or call several vendors in your area before choosing the best one.