Wrong! Windows and doors do leak. Not only can water enter your home through its doors and windows, heat can escape. Both situations are costly and both are easily addressed.
Why should you seal your doors and windows? Water entry through doors and windows causes unnecessary – and expensive – water and property damage. For example, during a windy rainstorm, water can enter your home through the tiny gaps surrounding your door. This water then can ruin your flooring and everything it comes in contact with including baseboards and the feet of your furniture. Even if you catch it in time and mop up the mess before the damage occurs, preventative measures such as installing weather stripping would have saved you the hassle.
In addition to allowing water in, your doors let the indoor air out. A typical home loses about 11% of its heat through doors – even more if the doors are in poor condition. Sliding glass doors lose even more due to the poorer insulation properties of glass. Likewise, windows are another area where heat escapes. Because heating and cooling your home is expensive, it makes economic sense to minimize air and water leakage.
Seal or Replace Doors and Windows?
Depending on the age and condition of the doors and windows in your home, you may want to replace these fixtures. For example, if you have single paned windows, an upgrade to double paned “insulating glass” windows is a worthwhile investment.
Bent doors generally should be replaced as it’s difficult to seal them properly. When replacing doors, consider fiberglass or insulating metal doors over wooden doors as they are better at reducing heat loss and have lower maintenance requirements.
If your windows and doors are in good overall condition but simply leak, installing fresh weather stripping each year should improve your leakage problems. Weather stripping comes in several forms including vinyl weather stripping, thin spring-metal weather stripping, foam rubber weather stripping, and even magnetic weather stripping (for metal doors). These materials are readily available at hardware stores and relatively easy to install.
While you’re at the hardware store, pick up a few tubes of caulk and a caulking gun (if you don’t already have one). Use the caulk to seal the tiny cracks and gaps around the windows.
Double Paned Windows and Condensation
If you have double paned windows, these windows feature two panes of glass with a small gap of air or gas in between. This gap provides an insulating effect, making double paned windows far more energy efficient than their single paned counterparts. However, if you notice moisture droplets or condensation between the glass panes, this means that the seal has broken. The windows become unsightly, mold can grow, and the energy efficiency goes out the window so to speak. Regularly inspect your double paned windows for signs of condensation and call a residential glass contractor for assistance when this occurs.
Mold and water damage are often preventable. Take a proactive approach to combating these problems by inspecting and sealing your doors and windows. Once the home is sealed, pay close attention to excessive indoor moisture because a well-sealed home also traps moisture inside. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust vents when cooking or bathing to ensure that moisture is routed outdoors.
By: Mr. Mark Decherd