Your windows are an important feature in your home or business but keeping them in good condition can sometimes be overlooked in the everyday hustle of life. Secure, winterized windows can keep you, loved ones, and pets warm, not to mention help with energy efficiency. So how should you winterize your windows, and what happens if you don’t? SERVPRO® has the answers.
How Winterizing Your Windows Saves You Money
Turns out, there are lots of benefits to winterizing your windows each year. If you don’t, you run the risk of:
- Increased heating bills.
- Water leaks.
- Heat loss through air leaks. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, an estimated 33% of heat loss is due to leaky windows and doors.
It is also ideal to winterize your windows to help your property be more energy efficient and keep cold air from blowing in.
How to Winterize Your Windows
- Evaluate glass panes and look for cracks or breaks. If you find any, replace the panes as soon as possible.
- Add weather stripping, making sure you find the right type for your windows.
- Add caulk around windows. Consider using a polyurethane caulk, as it sticks well, doesn’t shrink, doesn’t attract dust and dirt, and you can paint over it. Caulking is usually best for older windows (in fact, New York’s HCR says caulk is best for cracks less than ¼ inch in width and on non-moveable parts, such as the frame itself, or where the wall and trim meet).
- Add a draft stopper by securing it to the bottom of your window, then shutting it tightly.
- Add window films. This is simply plastic film placed over the glass, which can keep a significant amount of heat from escaping.
Window Insulation is Essential for Winterizing Your Windows
In addition to the steps above, consider insulating your windows using some or all of the following tips:
- Add batt insulation or spray foam insulation behind your windows or trim if you can access that area. For batt insulation, make sure you don’t overstuff the area. Simply insert it and let it remain “fluffy” instead of tightly compacted. For spray foam insulation, make sure you look for the kind specifically for windows and doors.
- Use window insulator kits. Seasonal window insulator kits are popular options due to ease of use. They also tend to be reasonably priced.
- Consider installing storm windows to help protect against strong winds.
- Hang thermal drapes. You can easily keep heat trapped inside by hanging thick, thermally lined drapes as close to the window as possible.
- Strengthen your windows. For double-hung windows specifically, if they have a single sash lock in the middle, consider securing them with two sash locks instead to make them less drafty. You can do this by 1) removing the original sash lock, 2) reinstalling it about one third of the way in on one side, and 3) adding the second, new sash lock one-third of the way in on the other side. This helps lock out air leaks and provides added security.
- Purchase new windows. Consider purchasing new windows with a low air leakage rating (this means they have a tighter window seal) that are ENERGY STAR rated.
- Cover basement window wells. If you have a basement with window wells, consider capping those wells with covers to prevent heat from escaping, decrease the chance of drafts, and increase energy efficiency. Covers can also help stop moisture from entering your property.
- Use cellular shades. Cellular shades are best for those who still want to use some type of cover over the window but don’t want the look of heavy thermal drapes. Cellular shades can be customized to fit your windows and tend to be more versatile than thermal drapes. They can also be used year-round.
- Use bubble wrap on your windows. This is a quick solution for those living in warmer climates, in case you experience sudden, cold weather. Grab some bubble wrap and a putty or butter knife to slip it into any cracks or gaps between the windows and frame. Then, cut off a piece of bubble wrap the size of the glass pane, spray the glass with water, then apply the bubble wrap to the glass, with the bubble side against the window.https://hcr.ny.gov/weatherization-tips-how-weatherize-your-windows
Does SERVPRO Clean Up After Water Leaks Through Windows?
Not only can SERVPRO clean the aftermath of window leaks and water damage, but it is your local franchise’s goal to provide full-service restoration from beginning to end. Beyond mitigation and cleanup, SERVPRO also offers construction services to rebuild small portions or even entire rooms or areas of your home or commercial property after damage. Visit the residential construction and commercial construction resources to learn more.
SERVPRO is Here to Help® Around the Clock
Winterizing your windows is an important part of home ownership or managing a property. If you need help with winter cleanup and construction due to old or damaged windows, insulation messes, or more, reach out to your local SERVPRO. With 2210 locations in the United States and Canada, there is a SERVPRO franchise nearby, ready to service your large and small cleanup, restoration, and construction needs. Find your local SERVPRO and reach out today.
Established in 1967, SERVPRO has grown to become the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration. Offering a variety of services including water damage cleanup, fire damage restoration, mold damage remediation, storm damage cleanup, air duct and HVAC cleaning, and more, customers expect elite and efficient service when contacting their local SERVPRO franchise. Available 24/7, SERVPRO is ready to assist at any hour, including holidays and weekends, with the goal of returning your property to pre-loss condition, “Like it never even happened.”