Windows that can allow cool air from the winter to seep in around windows and doors can cause your energy bill to skyrocket. What may seem like a small air leak around a window can actually be causing all sorts of damage to the wall and floors around the window. It can also cause your home to be much less energy efficient. It’s best to check your windows and doors to determine if they are allowing air to enter your home and if they are you’ll need to do some repairs or call a home improvement contractor for help. In this article I’ll go over some details on how you can check your windows and doors for air leaks.
Simple Ways You Can Check Your Windows and Doors for Leaks
As with any other home improvement project you’ll need to pay close attention to detail. Many times an air can develop and be very difficult to detect. Taking a casual glance at the window or door likely won’t yield any results so you’ll need to be sure you check your windows and doors carefully. You can also be sure to inspect your windows and doors regularly so when a problem does develop you can get it repaired quickly.
You can also be sure to inspect your windows and doors regularly so when a problem does develop you can get it repaired quickly.
Visually Inspect the Window
When inspecting the window or door visually pay close attention to the edge of the windows. Look for signs of water especially after it has rained. You’ll also want to look for cracks in seals both on the glass or sash as well as around the framing and molding of the window. Air can enter around the sash of the window but it can also come through the area between the window and the wall. The window may be perfectly well but if there is a leak between the window and the wall you’ll still lose energy efficiency in the home.
Look for Water Damage Around the Window
If it’s been some time since you inspected your windows you may notice brown areas around the window. Typically this is caused by water that has entered through the window. Either when the window was opened or the window has a leak which allows water to enter the home. When that happens it’s important to determine just where the water came from. When the window or door is leaking water it can cause all sorts of problems in the home even mold growth where you’ll need to get a mold removal company to remove the mold.
Check the Condition of the Glass in the Window
One of the most difficult things for most people to realize is that the glass sash can fail even if the window is not broken. One of the tell tale signs of a sash that has lost it’s pressurization is that condensation will start to build in between the two glass panes. When this happens the windows loses it’s energy efficiency and will need the sashes replaced as soon as possible. For single hung windows you may need to replace the entire window when this happens.
Do a Smoke Test
A popular way to determine if the window is leaking air or not is to strike a match and watch the smoke that rises around the window. If the window is allowing air to move in or out you’ll see the effects on the smoke from the match. Be extremely careful with this method however and don’t burn your home down.
Look for Debris in the Window and Door Tracks
Sliding windows and doors are notorious for debris and dirt getting in the tracks and causing them not to seal correctly when shut. Take vacuum and remove the dirt and debris in the track if it’s not properly shutting. There may also be leaves, pine needles, and other debris in the track. When you check your windows make sure to determine what shape the track and rollers are in because sometimes over time these components can become damaged.
When in Doubt Get a Contractor’s Help
If you suspect your windows are leaking air or has other problems be sure to get a home improvement contractor to help. It’s best to get your home’s windows inspected by a professional if you suspect any problems.