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How to Weatherize Your Old Doors and Windows

Guest Blogger #993, Entry #2545, June 21, 2013

Your home is your most important financial asset. You want to ensure that it is in good shape and well maintained for years to come. It is important to be aware of not only how your house looks aesthetically, but also how efficient it is from a practical standpoint. Weatherproofing your windows and doors, especially in an older home, can help you save on your energy bill while preserving the integrity of your home’s structure. Here are some tips to help improve the functionality of your home’s windows and doors for all kinds of weather, both hot and cold.

windows and door maintenance

Replacing your windows and doors

Image via: Menlo Park

Seal the exterior side of doors and windows

You can do this by purchasing caulk at your local hardware store. You should use the caulk along the trim edges of windows and doors. This will prevent water from seeping through any gaps into your home. It will also keep out drafts in the wintertime that can cause your heat system to use extra energy. Caulking is also a good idea because it can actually preserve the exterior paint on your home. It will reduce chipping and wear by sealing the edges. Also, be sure to use caulk along varying materials such as wood next to vinyl or stone. The best types of caulk include clear silicone or polyurethane. If you are going to paint over the caulk at all, choose an acrylic or latex caulk for a smooth and durable paint job. Before caulking, always be sure to clean the area around the door or window with a cloth to remove dust and dirt. Also, take away any previous caulking that may remain on the edges.

doors and windows ideas

Look at weather stripping on doors and windows

Image via: Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Take a look at the weather-stripping on your doors

You should check around the seal for any gaps. A great way to test this is by lighting a stick of incense. This will show you where smoke is passing through the rubber stripping. If you have a metal weather-strip, check for any bends in the material or missing pieces that could be letting air through. These may need to be repaired or even replaced depending on the condition.

Consider installing storm windows and doors.

These protect the main window from any elements such as heavy rain, sleet, or snow. They are also useful for insulating your home and keeping warm air sealed inside so that your energy bill doesn’t sky rocket! Storm windows reduce heat loss. There is only a small gap between the window and the storm window to allow moisture to escape. These are definitely a good investment to protect your home and old windows or doors.

wood exterior door round

Ensure your door has a sweep at the base to keep out air

Image via: Visbeen Associates, Inc.

Install a doorstep or “sweep” at the base of doors.

This will prevent leaks from allowing air to enter your home from the outside. These are usually easy to install and just require the purchase of the kit with screws. Use a drill to screw the doorstep into place. You can also purchase doorsteps or “sweeps” that are bristly or made of rubber.

Make sure your door is properly aligned.

This can save you a lot of time and money trying to figure out where leaks are by being proactive. Adjust and modify the hinges as well as the strike plate. You will need power tool equipment to drill hinges back into place, so be careful! You should ask for help when attempting this project as it can be heavy.

Each of these options can weatherize your home and also improve your home’s indoor air quality. By reducing airflow from the outside, you can keep out unwanted allergens and particles allowing your home to be cleaner and more pure. You will also reduce your energy consumption, and therefore your energy bill! Old windows and doors can be difficult to manage, but if you take the time to maintain and update them, your home will be much better weatherproofed for years to come.

For more maintenance tips on Stagetecture, click here.

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