Over time, windows can begin to separate from the walls of your home. This can cause drafts of air to creep through the cracks, wasting energy in your home. Here are some tips for checking if you have drafty windows, and how to fix them if this occurs.
Checking for Leaks or Separation
One of the easiest ways to check if your windows have drafts is to put a lighter or candle around the edges of the window pane. If you see the flame move or extinguish, then the windows are likely separating. Another sign is water residue after a storm. If your windows were closed during a recent storm and you find residue on the creases of the window sill inside the home, you may need to fix the cracks or install new windows.
Fixing Small Separations
For minor separation around windows, you can easily fix this with caulk. Find where the leaks are and simply patch up with a caulk gun by filling in the area needed. For older windows, this may not be a good enough fix. In some situations, you may be better off installing new windows which are more energy efficient.
Installing New Windows
There are two major parts to installing new windows. First, you must remove the old window. Then you must put in the new windows. This can be a complicated process, but here is an overview.
To remove an old window:
- Using a sharp tool, remove old caulk from around the window
- Then using a cat’s paw or other tool, remove any nails holding the window in place
- You may have to remove siding on the exterior in some cases
- Remove the window
This will show your rough opening. You’ll want to make sure they are level, square and plum. Once you take your measurements, you’ll have a better idea of what size window you’ll need to replace the old windows.
To install the new window:
- First you’ll want to cut a six-inch wide self-adhering waterproof membrane around the outer frame
- You’ll want the windows nailing fins perpendicular to the window frame
- Set the window sill at the bottom of the rough opening
- Tip the frame up until the nailing fins are tight against the wall
- Have someone tell you when the sides of the window and the jack studs are equal on both sides
- With a 1 ½ inch nail, tack the nailing fin to the sheathing in the upper corners
- Level the window, then tack the nailing fin to the lower corner
- Check that the window is square and seal the perimeter
- Install the window, apply a small bead of caulk at the top of the window casing then press flashing in place
Be sure to insulate against drafts. To get the best possible windows in place, it is recommended to consult with a professional prior to installing your windows. To guarantee the craftsmanship of the work, we recommend you hire a professional to install your windows.
Bauer Construction is able to repair you windows and install new ones in your home. Contact us today to learn how we are able to help your home repair and remodeling needs to prepare your home for the fall and winter seasons.