Although the first day of winter (Friday, December 21) won’t be here for many weeks, you just never know when winter weather will make an appearance.
Since you’re constantly opening and closing your exterior doors, winter can do a number on them – and your monthly energy bills – regardless if they’re steel insulated, fiberglass doors, or something else.
1. Eliminate drafts once and for all
When the weather is pleasant, you might not notice drafts passing through your doors.
Winter is another matter, though. You’ll definitely notice cold air seeping in/heat loss through your doors unless you take the following steps:
- INSTALL NEW WEATHERSTRIPPING: Look at the weatherstripping surrounding your doors. Does it look old and worn out? Does it appear to be falling off? If so, replace it ASAP.
- INSTALL NEW DOOR SWEEPS: Measure the door, and cut the door sweep to fit. This will prevent cold air from entering/warm air from escaping from the bottom of the door.
- TIGHTEN OR REPLACE THE HINGES: If the hinges appear to be off or misaligned, tighten them as snug as possible. If they look beat up, purchase and install a new set
2. Apply fresh caulk.
All year long, the caulk around your door has been exposed to rain, heat, rain, wind, and other elements.
But now that winter’s almost here, it may simply be too worn down to provide an adequate seal against snow, cold, and ice.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Missing pieces or chunks.
- Stains or discolouration.
- EXPANDABLE CAULK/LATEX CAULK: Great for sealing door frames and the subfloor which is underneath it. Not ideal if your door will be exposed to excessive moisture levels.
- BUTYL RUBBER CAULKING: Designed for outdoor use and is excellent if your door is surrounded by concrete.
3. Inspect the locks
Check the locking mechanisms and see if they’re:
- Damaged or broken.
- Difficult to use/operate.
If so, it could be one of two things:
- THE LOCK NEEDS TO BE REPLACED: This is an easy fix. Install a new lock and handle set which fits snugly, provides better security, and keeps cold air out.
- THE DOOR NEEDS TO BE REPLACED: If the lock’s in good condition but still feels loose, it’s a sign the door has warped. Simply changing the lock isn’t enough; you’ll need to get a new door.
1. Check to see if they work properly
Even though we just said you probably won’t be using your windows in winter, it’s important that they still work as they should by testing the following:
- CRANKS: Are they easy to turn, or do you have to expend more effort than usual?
- HANDLES: Do the handles stick?
- LATCHES: When you shut the latches, do they close all the way? Is it easy or difficult to open them?
If it’s hard for you to operate your window, it’s likely that it won’t close properly.
When that happens, warm air gets out, cold air gets in, and your monthly energy bills get higher and higher.
2. Hand heavy window coverings
In summer and fall, you might have had lightweight drapes or curtains cover your windows. Of course, that makes perfect sense: They’re bright, breezy, and easy to open.
Now, you’ll want to do the opposite. Take down those light curtains and hang heavy, dark curtains.
This simple switch can drastically reduce the amount of cold draft coming from your windows.
And remember: The thicker the curtain, the better it is.
3. Caulk the windows
Just like the doors mentioned earlier in this blog, caulking the windows before the onset of winter will improve the warm and coziness of your home.
The best part about caulking windows is that it isn’t complicated whatsoever. All you need is a tube or two of exterior caulking.
- FIND THE LEAK POINTS: Feel around the edges of your window frames from inside the house. Wherever you feel cold air coming through is where you need to caulk.
- REMOVE THE OLD CAULKING: Placing new caulk over old caulk is ineffective. Make certain to completely remove old caulk first.
- CLEAN AND AIR DRY THE AREA: Rubbing alcohol should sufficiently clean the surface. If you spot mold or mildew, use a bleach/water mixture to get rid of it.
- CUT THE CAULKING TUBE ACCORDINGLY: You’ll want caulk to exit the tube with the proper width (called a bead) you need to seal around the frame.
- SMOOTH OR “TOOL” THE CAULK: If using latex caulk, your finger and water should be enough to smooth the caulk line. Don’t clean your fingers with a paper towel until after you’re done.
Need new windows and doors for winter? Contact us
Perhaps you want to update your windows and doors for winter (and beyond) rather than simply get them ready for the season.
We can help with that.
Featuring a wide range of door and window options, installation services, and payment options, we’ll give you exactly what you want, no matter where you live in Oakville, Burlington, Milton, and Hamilton.