This article will try and show you how to seal around windows and do it the right way. Window sealing are an important part of protecting a home or building. Sealings close any gaps between the house structure and windows, stopping any air, water, or insects from getting inside.
Good sealing also saves homeowners money. They help regulate indoor temperatures by preventing heating or cooling from escaping. HVAC systems don’t have to work as hard to keep the climate just right, so energy bills are lower.
The right sealing keeps the home or building in great shape for years. Most of the time, owners don’t have to pay them any mind. However, sealings don’t last forever. Window seals can last anywhere from eight to twenty years.
Their lifespan depends on a lot of factors like the quality of materials used and how much of a beating they go through from weather over the years. When seals break down they expose the house to the outdoors.
Thankfully, window seals can be replaced easily. Here’s a quick guide on how to seal around windows.
How to Seal Around Windows – Check to See if Sealings Need to be Replaced
The first thing homeowners should do is check to see if they need new window seals. A visual check is easy to do. Caulk is the white or clear material around the edges of the windows.
It fills the gap and connects the window to the building. Caulk breaks down over time, and dried out caulk that is cracked or falling out is a sign seals need to be replaced.
The same goes for glazing that holds planes of glass to window framing. Old glazing putty loosens and opens the house to drafts. Owners can check if the windows have drafts coming in or moving out by holding a lit candle and moving it around the window. If the flame is pushed or pulled, it’s a good indicator the seal isn’t working.
Tools for Sealing Windows
Here are the basic tools that get the job done.
- Putty Knife – A putty knife is great for removing old seals. It scrapes old caulk and putty off easily. Putty knives come in a wide variety of sizes. Buy something that isn’t too big that can fit into window corners.
- Wire Brush – It’s important to make sure all caulk and glazing is removed before new seals are applied. The wire brush can scrape any crumbs of caulk left over from scraping with the putty knife.
- Caulk Softener – This is optional and will depend on the state of the existing caulk. Sometimes caulk can be very stubborn. A caulk softener solution will break it up just enough it can be taken out.
- Cleaning Solution – New seals should be applied to a clean surface, so after everything’s out, scrub the window with soap and water to get any remaining dust off the window.
- Window Glazing
Glazing the Windows
Once the window is dust-free, new glazing can be applied. Glazing needs a clean surface so it can stick to the glass and window frame. Homeowners can buy glazing from any home improvement store that comes either in a small tub or a tube that can be used in a caulking gun. The putty knife will come in handy with glazing in a tub.
Take a small amount of glazing and apply it along the edge where the glass and frame meet. It’s a good idea to angle the glazing at a slope. Angling it will make it minimal and draw attention to the window instead of the seal.
Use the putty knife to run along the entire seam until the glazing is smooth. For DIYers, smoothing glazing will take some practice. Depending on the climate, glazing can take a while to dry.
It’s best to do the glazing first since it will take longer to set. Once it is dry, though, it can be painted over to match the color of the window.
Time for New Caulk
After the window glazing is on, it’s time to start on the caulk. Caulk usually comes in tubes with a narrow tip. To get started, take a knife or scissors and cut about a quarter inch off the top of the tip.
Cut it at an angle so it’s easier to run the caulk tube along the edge of the window. Insert the tube into the caulk gun. The caulk gun will have a mechanism that gradually tightens on the tube and pushes caulk out. It will take a little time to get used to for people who’ve never used a caulk gun before.
Once the mechanism is familiar, run the caulk gun along the edge between the window frame and the building or home exterior. Don’t go too fast. The caulk needs to fill the gap before it comes to the surface. Stopping for too long, however, can cause lumps to form, so pay attention.
As the gap fills, move the caulk gun along the seam in a smooth motion. Once a caulk line is finished, wet a finger and run it along the line to smooth out any lumps or wrinkles. Finally, the caulk will need to dry for several hours before it fully sets, so avoid touching it for about 12 hours.
The Final Check
It’s important to check the new window sealing to make sure it’s done right. Checking the window can be done with the candle method mentioned above to see if there is any air moving in and out. Do a visual check as well to make sure no corners or cracks were missed.
If there are any air leaks, apply additional glazing or caulk in the steps outlined here until the seal is complete.
Putting a new seal on a window is a great project that is simple enough for DIY-inclined homeowners to knock out without too much trouble. It can be done in the evenings or as a weekend job that will refresh the exterior of a home.
New sealings are a great way to protect a house and keep the outside looking fantastic!