As the seasons change, many homeowners are familiar with winter door and window preparation for their homes and cottages for cold weather. Moving into fall and winter involves many routine preparations around the house and yard, yet, many homeowners don’t know what to look for when it comes to their doors and windows. Regular maintenance ensures you get the best view all year round––we’ll show you how.
Seasonal maintenance for your doors and windows in western Canada.
There are some great ways you can prepare for winter. Seasonal maintenance can help prolong the life of your windows and doors. We recommend following these steps in the spring and fall to prepare for everything Canadian weather throws your way.
- Check the caulking on the exterior of your doors and windows. Caulking is helpful for minor repairs both inside and outside your doors and windows. If you notice any areas where the caulking is deteriorating or coming apart, you can repair it.If there are significant gaps, it may be time to replace your doors and windows. While you can caulk those areas to prevent further damage, it may only be a temporary solution while you work to replace those windows. Many people replace their windows in pieces to help offset the upfront cost of complete replacement. If you choose this route, caulking can be a great way to minimize pests and water damage to your home through your doors and windows. It can offset drafts, but replacement is the way to ensure maximum energy efficiency––this is a temporary solution only.
- Wash your windows to remove dust and debris. Sliding windows allow you to easily release the window from the jamb to conveniently clean the exterior glass. With your swing or picture windows, you will have to wash them from the outside of your home. Wash the inside and outside of your windows using a soft microfibre cloth. Using the dusting feature on your vacuum cleaner, remove any dirt and debris from your window sills.
- Check your weather stripping, and replace if needed. Open your windows and doors around your home. Check along the upper and lower sash (window frame) of your windows to ensure the weather stripping is in good condition. Weatherstripping on your doors and windows will dry out and become damaged over time, making them less efficient. This does not mean your windows or doors need to be replaced. You can replace worn weather stripping as needed to maintain the energy efficiency of your home.
- Replace or install a door sweep. A door sweep closes the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold, acting as an extra measure against drafts, moisture, and pests. Ensure that your is in good condition, and replace if necessary. There are three main styles of door sweep, bristle, strip, and under door. In cold climates such as Northern BC or Saskatchewan, a strip or under-door style will be the most effective barrier for drafts, moisture, and pests.
5 Signs you may need to replace your doors and windows this fall.
While doing your seasonal maintenance on your doors and windows, you can check over the interior and exterior of your home for signs of damage, warping, pests, and rot. If any of these signs are present, that indicates replacement is necessary.
- Check your interior windows for water damage or rotting. If you can see signs of damage on the inside of your windows and doors, prioritizing replacement is a good idea. Often damage occurs in the inside of the wall, under the sill and casing before it is readily visible. If you notice yellowing, pockets of water under the paint, plaster damage, or black mould under your window, there is likely a significant leak occurring. Window replacement can be done to your most damaged windows first, or all your windows can be tackled all at once. You will also need to replace the damaged drywall and any rotting insulation or wood; when water damage occurs, the homeowner’s repair cost increases.If you have single-pane, wood windows, you may notice rotting or warping to the wood sill or stool, both inside and outside. Another indication of water damage or wood rot is difficulty opening or closing the window. Single-pane windows are beautiful, but they are a significant drain on your home’s efficiency. We offer windows that can replicate these classic styles while dramatically improving your home’s carbon footprint.
- Are your exterior doors difficult to open? An excellent way to judge the health of your exterior doors is by how they open and close. If you notice a dramatic seasonal shift in closing and opening your doors from summer to winter, they need maintenance or replacement. Doors should close smoothly, forming a tight seal that maintains the integrity of your home’s energy output. Wear and tear, dirt and dust, and shifting foundations can cause your doors to stick and jam. Before winter, ensure you check the weather stripping, clean the dirt and dust from the sill, and ensure your hinges, hardware (such as your deadbolt, doorknob, strike and mortise plate) are all secure. Frost on the doorknob is not an indication of door health, as your hardware has no thermal barrier. To learn more about preventing frost build-up, read our blog.
- Check your windows for condensation. While some condensation is normal, check your windows for condensation between the panes of glass. If you notice moisture in between the panes, that’s a good indication your windows need replacement, as the seal on your windows is no longer airtight.Your windows maintain a good thermal barrier by using air and gas between the panes to insulate you from the noise and outside elements. When this barrier breaks down, your windows are no longer functioning appropriately. You may notice increased street noise, condensation in between the panes, or explicit damage to one of the panes of glass––such as a crack or chip.
- Look for gaps on the exterior. Check the casing on your windows and doors for gaps and warping that allow moisture, air, and pests free passage. While you can temporarily fill these gaps with expanding foam or caulking, significant gaps indicate that replacement is necessary. Temporary fixes will be sufficient for the short term only.If you have large gaps in your doors and windows, it can cause an improper seal with the weatherstripping, allowing water, dust, and pests to enter your home. If you notice water pooling on your window sill or at the base of your exterior doors, this is a sure sign of a faulty weather seal.
- Check your windows for seizing or difficulty opening and closing. When your windows fail to open or close properly, or even at all, they need to be replaced. Windows that seize and fail tend to be older, single-pane wood frame windows, but all windows are subject to failure. A window that fails to open or close properly can indicate several problems, from mechanism failure or damage, dirt and debris in the channel, or warping. Seasonal maintenance can help prevent debris from entering the channels, but warping and seizing is a definite indication to call in a professional.
Trust your doors and windows to the certified experts at Denovo.
Our team is dedicated to experience and expertise. Your view is our passion, and our team is here to increase your home’s curb appeal, value, and energy efficiency. Whether you choose to replace your old windows slowly or invest in your whole home at once, we can accommodate your needs. Talk to us today to get your free estimate.