Sealing Windows and Doors: How It’s Done
One of the most effective yet often overlooked tasks is sealing windows and doors. This simple act of preventative maintenance can yield significant benefits, both immediate and long-term.
Why Sealing Windows and Doors is Important
1. Energy Efficiency: Gaps and cracks in windows and doors allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter, making your heating system work harder. Proper sealing can reduce energy consumption and lower your utility bills.
2. Comfort: Drafty windows and doors can make your living spaces uncomfortable, especially during the chilly winter months.
3. Pest Prevention: Small openings can be an invitation to insects and small rodents looking for a warm place to stay.
4. Longevity: Moisture can seep through unsealed gaps, potentially damaging the structure of your home over time.
Why Fall is the Ideal Time for This Task
Fall offers moderate temperatures that are ideal for outdoor work. The sealants adhere better in milder weather, ensuring a more effective seal. Additionally, taking care of this task in the Fall allows you to reap the benefits as soon as the colder weather sets in, rather than scrambling to fix drafts in the dead of winter.
How to Seal Windows and Doors
• Weatherstripping or adhesive-
• Caulk and caulk gun
• Door sweeps
• Tape measure
• Scissors or utility knife
1. Inspect: Walk around your home and feel for drafts around windows and doors. You can also use a lit incense stick; the smoke will waver where there's a draft.
2. Clean: Before applying any sealant, clean the area thoroughly to remove dirt and grime.
3. Measure and Cut: Measure the length of the gaps and cut your weatherstripping or V-strip accordingly.
4. Apply Weatherstripping:
For windows, apply the adhesive-backed V-strip along the sides of the sash. For doors, apply weatherstripping around the frame and a door sweep at the bottom.
5. Caulk: Use caulk to seal any remaining gaps or cracks. Make sure to smooth it out for a clean finish.
6. Test: Once everything is dry, test by feeling for drafts again or using the incense stick method.
By taking the time to seal your windows and doors, you're investing in a more comfortable, energy-efficient, and durable property. So grab your sealant and weatherstripping, and make this simple yet impactful task a part of your annual preventative property maintenance routine.
Phil Schaller is the CEO of RentalRiff. RentalRiff provides an ongoing property maintenance and tenant support solution for small rental properties. A property owner or manager can hire a RentalRiff “property specialist” (licensed/insured general contractor or maintenance pro) to be on-call for their property. Tenants simply reach out to their property specialist for any property-level needs - the specialist will then head to the property and fix the issue. Routine preventative maintenance, emergencies, and turnovers are all included.