Your windows protect your home from the elements of the outdoors, but are you confident that every crack and crevice is keeping the summer heat and winter winds out? As your windows age, normal wear and tear can gradually create dents and cracks around the windows.
Holes in the frame, edges, or crevices of your window allow air from the outdoors to enter your home. This causes your air conditioner to work longer and harder to control the temperature indoors. So, how can you be sure that your windows are as energy-efficient as you think they are, and how can you reseal them if they aren’t? Emergency window repair is easier than you might think.
How to Check and Seal Your Windows in 5 Steps
- Candle or incense
- Lighter or matches
- Caulk Softener
- Putty Knife
- Towel or soft rag
- Tube or tub of window glazing
- Caulking gun
- Tube of caulk
Step 1. Conduct a smoke test.
Wait for a windy or breezy day, then hold a lit candle or incense close to the window seams. If the flame bends or the smoke blows toward your home, then you have a draft. Repeat this test with all of your windows – making a note of which windows have a breeze.
Step 2. Inspect the caulking around your windows.
Exterior caulk tends to dry out in the summer heat and can create gaps and cracks that let in water and air. Check all the windows, even the ones that weren’t drafty, to see if the exterior or interior caulk has been damaged or is wearing down. Make a note of which windows need to be repaired and add it to your list of windows that are drafty (if there are any differences).
Step 3. Remove loose glazing and old caulk.
Now that you know which windows need repairing, apply caulk softener to old caulking and let it soak for two hours. Using a putty knife, remove any loose glazing and caulking from the frame, interior, and exterior of your window. This will give you a clean slate to work with, and eliminate the chance of new glazing or caulking flaking off with the older layers.
Step 4. Apply new glazing.
Using a towel or soft rag, clean the surface where you’ve removed loose glazing and old caulking. You’ll want a dust-free surface for the glaze to adhere. If you’re using a tub of window glaze, use your putty knife to scoop out the glaze and apply a smooth slope along each pane of glass. For best results, apply at a 20- or 45-degree angle. Otherwise, cut the tip of the window glaze tube at a 45-degree angle and use a caulking gun to apply the window glaze. Let it dry as directed in the instructions.
Step 5. Apply new caulking.
Cut the tip of the caulking tube at a 45-degree angle. Insert the tube into a caulking gun and gently apply pressure. Move the gun along the seams in a smooth motion. If you need to fill a larger gap, move more slowly to ensure the caulking fills the space adequately. Wet your finger and smooth out the caulk to give a clean, finished look. Let the caulk dry as directed in the instructions.
Signs Your Home Needs a Window Replacement
Sometimes your windows need more than an emergency window repair. Signs that your window(s) needs to be replaced include:
- Your windows are 20 years or older
- Your window panes or frames are cracked or damaged
- Your window insulation is minimal or nonexistent
- Your window is still drafty after replacing the glaze and caulk
For more signs that it may be time to replace your entire window, read this related blog.
Improve Your Windows With Help from Allied Siding & Windows
If you’re a Texas resident and you’re experiencing window woes, don’t hesitate to contact Allied Siding & Windows. We are a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, so you can rest assured that you’re working with one of the best window installers in the industry.
Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!