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What is the best product to block air leaks from gaps in older windows?

  1. ChristinS profile image97
    ChristinSposted 2 years ago

    What is the best product to block air leaks from gaps in older windows?

    We live in a very old house and replacing all the windows is not in our budget right now. Several of them are drafty in the winter. We've tried those window sealing kits, but it's as thin as plastic wrap, looks bad, is easily torn and doesn't do much to help.  We were looking at acrylic film and that's almost as pricey as replacement windows.  Any frugal ways to seal windows that doesn't look bad, is cost efficient and actually works? Winter will be here before we know it!

  2. fpherj48 profile image76
    fpherj48posted 2 years ago

    Christin.....I can't know what "kind" of windows you have, size, color or seriousness of the "gaps" you speak of.  I'm simply going to tell you what I have done, in my old house with the windows I have yet to replace (budget, at the moment being my reason as well)

    Because my wooden-framed windows remain closed at all times through the winter months here in my part of the country, every cold season, I go through a simple procedure.

    Good old standard, inexpensive "Fix-all/repair anything"  Duct tape!   As I'm sure you're aware, duct tape can be purchased these days in any & every color of the rainbow.  I buy the shade of brown that closely matches my window frames.   Over every area of my windows that have gap enough to allow cold air in, I cover it completely with an appropriate sized piece of duct tape, making sure it is pressed firmly and seals the leak tightly and completely.  Test the seal by slowly tracing the area with your hand while holding a match......there should be no air coming inside.

    Even in the most frigid temps, this simple trick will keep OUT the cold air leaks quite well.  The fix is barely visible, especially where I have blinds, shades or curtains in place.   This is not expensive nor time consuming.  When the warmer seasons roll around, I just pull the tape off and it's all done.  Sounds too simple to be a good fix, I know, but it works for me and it gets DAMNED cold here!!

    1. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      awesome, and it doesn't damage paint? I have wood framed windows as well with several smaller panes in each window. I'm super excited that works so well smile

    2. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      My wood frames are stained & varnished (not "painted") never been damage or marks 2 wood. It shouldn't damage paint. if adhesive remains, remove with undiluted rubing alcohol. Tape only ur LG (outer) panes.

    3. JON EWALL profile image72
      JON EWALLposted 2 years agoin reply to this
    4. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Love the new picture, sexy Mama!  I'll bet your house is warm enough for your husband!!   LOL

    5. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      lol , aw thanks Paula smile that totally made my day.  I figured it was time for a modern picture of what I look like today not 6 years ago smile

  3. tsmog profile image82
    tsmogposted 2 years ago

    I like Paula's suggestion. If the windows are just plain leaking at the caulking for the panes and the meeting surfaces of the of the casement, most assuredly that will help.

    I am no expert by any means. However, consider when pondering air moves hot (Higher Pressure) to cold (Lower Pressure). A draft is because heat (Higher) is escaping (Heading outside to colder air) and cold air (Lower) fills the created gap at the same (density) rate. Ponder the house is surrounded by a cold low pressure. It will be more drafty the lower one is.

    Yes, a strong wind may push through a gap in a structure, but consider the frequency of windy. A drafty window many times is the result of hot air somewhere moving out quickly. Ponder the difference of the building temperature vs. the outside temperature. The warmer the home (room) and the colder outside (Elsewhere) the more it will be drafty if the heat is moving out swiftly somewhere.

    So, considering how the (heat) hot air is escaping may be a greater consideration. How about the chimney(s) dampner, the attic, and the quality of sealing for the upstairs windows vs downstairs. If there is a fireplace or two and they are not being used they still work as a chimney being a direct route for heat to move outward. They make chimney balloons to help with sealing.

    1. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      we have radiant heat, but an old chimney in the attic and I never considered that could be an issue too, so I'll definitely look into that as well.  thanks

    2. tsmog profile image82
      tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hot air rises (moves) not heat. Heat is energy. Heat is exchanged with cold. Radiant heat does heat a 'colder surface'. Consider a fireplace tube heat exchanger. Air in the tube gets hot, rises, escapes & cold air enters at the tube bottom. A dra

  4. JON EWALL profile image72
    JON EWALLposted 2 years ago

    CS
    NOT Knowing all the facts and problems! try foam rubber tape it comes in rolls different widths and thickness hardware store loews home depot   check it out   when you go take some pictures so that the sales person can get an idea for helping you try to solve your problems
    good luck
    sometimes a weather stripping could work  caulking only special conditions

    1. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      thanks for the suggestion.  I never thought to take a pic of the windows with us - good idea.

  5. connorj profile image75
    connorjposted 2 years ago

    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/12589192_f260.jpg

    Although duct tape can work; it would be wiser to use some sort of 100% silicone caulk in my opinion. Sealing windows and doors with caulk helps keep the harsh outdoor elements from coming in. However moisture, extreme temperatures and the sun's UV rays can cause acrylic caulk and tape to lose its flexibility and degrade. Instead, choose a 100% silicone or paintable silicone caulk. This type of Caulk create a long-lasting, flexible, waterproof seal that never shrinks or cracks and even insulates a wee bit.

    1. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Regular caulking didn't do a very good job and it's kind of hard to work with.  I think I'll try the silicon version around the more problem areas.  We have a lot of wind and our worst windows are large and south facing so light.  Thanks.

  6. B. Leekley profile image89
    B. Leekleyposted 2 years ago

    What worked well for me last winter here in Kalamazoo, Michigan was "Mortite Weatherstrip and Caulking Cord".

    1. ChristinS profile image97
      ChristinSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      awesome, I'll look that up as well.  smile thanks

  7. arksys profile image89
    arksysposted 2 years ago

    A tube of transparent silicone should do it. Will block the air and is water proof. Stays on for years.

    1. arksys profile image89
      arksysposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      And don't be shy with it. Use your fingers to squeeze as much as you can in the gaps. I used it on an outdoor crack in our cemented wall. dont have any more seepage from the monsoon rains.

 
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