Three Solutions For Windows That Leak Air And Water In The Winter

When closed, your windows are meant to let in sunlight, but keep air and water outside where they belong. As windows age, however, they sometimes start developing cracks and gaps between the windows and the sashes, which can lead to air and water leaks. Ultimately, you will probably want to have leaky windows replaced, but this can be expensive. In the meantime, here are a few ways to "fix" leaky windows and protect your home from moisture and drafts.

1. Caulk the windows.

If you are comfortable using a caulk gun, and if the air and water seem to be coming from cracks in the frame or the gap between the glass and the sash -- not from between the frame and the sash -- you can use caulk to seal the windows. Select a silicone caulk. It tends to be less flexible than latex caulk, so it will do a better job of sticking to the two window surfaces without peeling away. Use clear caulk, and apply a generous bead to each crack. Wipe it flush with the window, using your finger. Once dry, you can paint over the caulk so it's not so obvious.

2. Apply rope caulk.

If the air and water are coming in from a gap between the sash and the frame, you don't want to apply caulk to this gap, since doing so will make it impossible to open and close the window. A good temporary solution is to use rope caulk. It will stay in place and stop leaks for as long as you leave it there, but it's easy to peel off in the spring when you want to open the windows again. Rope caulk comes in big rolls, which you can purchase at a hardware store for just a few dollars apiece. Press a strand of it into each window crevice to stop the flow of air. Make sure the windows are dry when you apply it.

3. Put plastic over the windows.

If it's primarily air, and not water, that is leaking in through the windows, an easy fix is to put a sheet of sticky plastic over each window. You won't be able to open the window with the plastic in place, but it's easy enough to remove the plastic in the spring. Hardware stores sell plastic window sheets. You just peel the backing off and stick the plastic all along the window frame.

For more information, get in touch with a residential window repair technician.