I started renovating a house recently that I inherited from my uncle. The house has these old-style windows that do not close as they should. One evening while sanding the floor, I felt this really cold draft coming through the window. That made me wonder: how to fix and insulate drafty windows?
Windows become drafty due to a few factors, with age being among those. One way of fixing the issue is by replacing the entire window and frame, but that is expensive; another option is to seal around the frame using a method called caulking and insulate the inside window with adhesive foam.
Finding the answer to the question required a lot of research and even the need to consult experts. The advice that I was given will be shared in this article. The first part of this article will be a basic layout and the direction of flow for the article.
What Causes Windows To Become Drafty?
The fact that windows become drafty has a lot to do with certain factors, so it is very important to identify the issue before even thinking of fixing it. The factors that cause windows to become drafty are the following:
- The Material. The material that the window is made from plays a big part in why the window becomes drafty in the first place.
- The age of the window and the maintenance history. If the window is misbehaving because of age, maybe it’s time to replace it; maintenance of windows and frames is crucial to the durability of windows and frames.
- Other external factors include window foundation, weather, and insects. In some cases, further investigation is required to identify and resolve problems.
We will be touching on these factors in more detail throughout the article and the remedies for the different factors causing drafty windows. For this article, the remedies will be referred to as the fix.
Wooden Windows And Frames
Wood is probably the most popular and commonly used option for windows and frames. Because wood expands and retracts permanently because of temperature or moisture, it is very common for wooden windows to become drafty.
Be on the lookout for insects like termites. Termites love to infest wood. Wood deteriorates with age, especially if it is not maintained properly. Next up is the fix for wooden windows and frames.
The Fix For Wooden Windows And Frames
The fix for a drafty wooden window starts with the inspection and problem detection phase; it requires a visual inspection from the inside and the outside of the drafty window – how can a problem be fixed if it isn’t identified? Next, you have to fix the problem.
If gaps are spotted between the frame and the wall, it needs to be closed up. Look for signs of insect infestation before attempting to close any gaps. If insect infestation is suspected, call out an exterminator.
If insects do not cause the gaps, then the gaps can be closed. You can easily do this using a caulking gun and a suitable sealant. Always read the information on the sealant label to see it is suited to this task.
If the damage is maintenance-related, the window will not work, or it could struggle to function as it should. If wood maintenance is not performed properly and timeously, the wood could bend or warp.
Attempt to position the frame and window into the original space and secure it. Sometimes it helps to use angle iron sections to wedge the frame back in place; just be careful not to break the glass.
If this is not possible and the workings of the window are affected, consider replacing the entire window and frame. It might be better to get a professional to assist with the replacement.
Insulation Of Wooden Windows
After all the fixes have been done, you can further insulate the windows against adverse weather conditions like freezing temperatures.
You can easily do this by applying plastic film insulation on the inside and outside of the windows and using heavy curtains in front of the windows.
Aluminum Windows And Frames
Aluminum is another popular material in the manufacturing of windows and frames. Unlike its wooden counterpart, aluminum windows hardly become drafty, but if they do, it requires you to investigate why the window is drafty.
The Fix For Aluminum Windows And Frames
Aluminum is definitely less susceptible to damage due to weather conditions or insects but still needs to be maintained regardless of this. Normally, the foundation around the window frame becomes a problem or the rubber seals that hold the windows in place.
If an aluminum window becomes drafty because of gaps between the frame and the foundation parts, it needs to be filled with caulking the same way as the wooden frame. The other place where the problem could stem from is the rubber seals that hold the windows in place.
If the rubber seals are worn out or damaged, it will also result in the window becoming drafty. This issue can be fixed by either replacing the seals or a silicone sealant. It helps if you get the same color silicone sealant as the seal because it looks nicer. Some people even use an automotive sealant when the seal is black.
Insulation of Aluminium Windows
The plastic film insulation wrap and heavy curtains also work wonders in insulating this window type. The curtains need to be opened for sunlight to warm up the room and then closed again to keep the heat inside.
It is extremely difficult to control the temperature inside a home if drafty windows or other gaps let in drafts. Using towels to stuff spaces under doors is another way to keep drafts out, but that is an article for another day, so I hope that the information in this article was helpful and will assist in the fight against drafty windows.
I know that it did resolve my issues with the drafty windows, and I am proud to say that the rest of the renovations are going ahead at a good pace.
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