Our homes’ doors and windows are a big part of what keeps the cold out during the winter season. Naturally, any issues with our doors and windows that will affect their ability to keep the cold out can drastically affect our homes, and all of those who live in them. Here are some winter door and window issues to look out for.
Drafty doors and/or windows
If you’re feeling cold drafts around your doors and/or windows during the cold months, then you may need to renew the sealing around them. Check the caulking, and reapply it if you see any gaps or damage. Reapplying weatherstripping should also take care of the problem.
If you’re seeing cracks in either the door or window itself, or in its frame, then simply resealing it may not be enough to keep the drafts out. If the cracks are letting light in, then it’s a sure bet they’re letting cold air in, too. In this case, the best solution is to replace the entire unit.
Stuck door during winter
If your wooden entry door keeps getting stuck when it gets cold, it’s most likely a problem with humidity; the door is absorbing moisture, which then causes the door to expand when it gets cold. If you can open the door, try tightening the hinges. If that does not work, then you may have to use a block plane to shave some material off the latch side of the door.
Ice or condensation in the window
If frost is forming on your windows, then you have an excess of humidity in your home. Modern homes tend to be very well-sealed against moisture, so the situation is more often than not a case of not properly ventilating your home. If you’re not already running them regularly, try running your bath and kitchen exhaust fans to vent excess moisture. If that’s not enough, you might try using a dehumidifier, too. Additionally, drapes or blinds may be trapping condensation against your windows – try leaving them open to see if your windows stop icing up. Lastly, you may simply need to turn up the heat.
So how do you keep door and window problems from popping up? Stay tuned for Part II for some common window and door maintenance tips.