Do you get drafts in the middle of winter, even though your windows are closed? What a discomfort on the coldest, wettest or windiest days! What are the best ways to seal your windows and protect your home? Here are 10 strategies!
10 Solutions for Caulking and Insulating Windows Without Changing Them
Do you experience persistent cold and dampness despite having the heating on? Your windows might be the culprit, especially if you notice condensation or feel drafts. Say goodbye to heat loss, save energy, and elevate your comfort with our 10 effective tips!
1. Renovating joints
Over time, it’s normal for caulking joints to become damaged and lose their insulating power, whether they’re made of foam, silicone, metal or rubber.
By replacing these gaskets around the glazing, you’re opting for an inexpensive and effective solution for insulating your home from water, air and cold. All you have to do is choose the material, color and thickness best suited to your windows.
2. Gluing a door sill
Can you feel fresh air coming in through the bottom of your patio door? If so, you can use a fabric door sweep or, more robustly, glue or screw on a metal door sweep to seal the narrow gap between the sash and the threshold.
3. Installing overglazing: 3 options
Do you have single-glazed windows? Instead of changing them, think about over-glazing!
There are three main types:
- The transparent plastic film is glued directly to the glazing, inside or out.
- Low-emissivity insulating film: stronger and more durable than over-glazing film, this type is particularly popular for conservatories. It is available in a wide range of versions that can protect against the cold or, on the contrary, limit heat.
- Second glazing: at least 6 mm thick, second glazing is installed over the existing sash. The space between the two panes acts as a natural insulator, even if the performance achieved is not equal to that of double or triple glazing.
4. Install insulating curtains
Want to insulate your windows more cost-effectively? Curtains are your best friend! Choose insulating curtains, thicker than conventional curtains, which reflect the cold outwards.
These thermal curtains, which can also be acoustic, are available in a wide range of colors and styles, so they can be perfectly integrated into your decor, whether it’s chic, bohemian or even seaside!
5. Replace the sashes for perfect insulation
This solution is the most expensive but also the most effective. As part of a renovation project, only the sashes are replaced, not the entire window.
You then benefit from sashes in perfect condition and new glazing, which ensure excellent thermal and sound insulation for your home.
6. Filling window frames with expanding foam
Expanding foam is fast, economical and long-lasting if you’re faced with gaps or cracks in your window frames.
This polyurethane product is designed to swell (so be careful not to use too much!) and harden. It provides an excellent seal but should be reserved for seldom-used windows.
It is applied with an applicator gun and fills all gaps, even the most recalcitrant. Once cured, the foam creates a sturdy insulating barrier that prevents draughts and reduces humidity.
7. Installing a V-seal: ideal for windows that are opened frequently
Made of metal or plastic, this gasket has a self-adhesive face attached to the window sash. It fits perfectly when you close the window.
Its V-shaped design provides optimum compression for high-performance thermal and acoustic insulation. Extremely durable and easy to install, it’s an effective solution for modern windows but not for rustic ones.
8. Caulk your windows with an adhesive bead
Foam or rubber caulking is a ready-to-install solution. It is attached to the window frame, i.e. the fixed part of the frame anchored to the wall.
For a successful application, the frame must be clean and dry. Simply cut the bead to the required length, peel off the adhesive tape, and carefully apply it along the frame. This insulation is easy to install but becomes brittle over time. It is particularly suitable for large openings that are subject to little stress.
9. Applying glazier’s sealant: the solution for wooden windows
Do you have beautiful old wooden windows? Glazier’s putty and silicone are particularly well-suited to this noble material. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional such as Schaaf Windows for an effective, long-lasting application or consultation.
Here are the main steps to follow.
- Clean the wooden frame with a special degreaser;
- Remove any old caulking and, if necessary, sand off flaking paint;
- Apply an even coat of mastic sealant using a spray gun for precise application;
- Smooth the joint with a spatula and allow it to dry.
10. Installing roller shutters
Have you considered manual or motorized roller shutters? Their slatted curtain forms a physical barrier against draughts. In winter, they keep the cold out of your windows at night.
When it comes to materials, you can choose between Vinyl, aluminum and wood, all of which are excellent insulators.
Don’t hesitate to ask about each model’s thermal resistance (R-value). The higher the “R-value” value, the more influential the caulking for your windows.
How Do You Identify Areas of Heat Loss in Your Home?
Before you start any small-scale caulking work, defining precisely where the cold is infiltrating your home can be very useful. Recognizing what are known as heat loss zones will enable you to target your efforts and achieve more effective results.
You may be wondering how to identify these problem areas. There are several simple yet effective methods for doing so, and you don’t need to be an expert to use them.
- The candle test: light a candle and pass it slowly along the edges of your windows. If the flame flickers, it’s a sign of a drought.
- Tissue paper: hang a piece of tissue paper on a coat hanger and use it as a wind detector. If the paper moves, you’ve found an area of heat loss.
- The thermal camera is a more high-tech approach! It will show cold areas in blue.
- A professional consultation: if you prefer a more precise assessment, many professionals offer energy audits. This will enable you to apply the most appropriate caulking solutions and maximize your energy savings.
It’s entirely possible to find ways of preventing cold from coming into your home through your windows. There are many effective insulation solutions, some of which are affordable, although nothing can beat the performance of replacing your windows with new energy-efficient ones.
Have you decided to change your windows for greater comfort? To reduce the bill, think about Schaaf Window: with decades of experience, our employees can assist you immediately!