4 Common House Window Problems in Winter
Winter is in full swing! It is essential that you prepare your windows for the changing weather conditions. Generally the temperatures drop and the winds get stronger.
So this leaves your windows more exposed to sudden accidents and damage. It can bring all types of problems which can affect not only the warmth of your home, but also reduce the level of security.
No matter what window style or design you have, it is important to ensure your house windows are winter-ready! When it comes to checking your windows, there are a few things you’ll need to look out for.
Read on to see our guide on the typical window problems you’ll need to prepare for this winter and how to fix them.
How To Beat The Cold This Winter
What Is It?
Condensation mostly occurs during autumn/winter months and can unfortunately be a problem with both period properties and new builds.
Condensation is water which collects as droplets on a cold surface. This happens when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface which has a temperature below its ‘dew point’.
Window condensation is a problem that arises in thousands of homes across the UK. It can affect both single and double glazing units. However it is more likely to form on the inside of a single glazed window because there is only one pane of glass separating the inside and outside temperatures.
- Excessive moisture in the house
- Sealant between the panes is broken
- High levels of humidity/warm air
Where You Can Find It
- Inside pane of your window
- Outside window pane
- Inside the ‘air gap’ between the two glass panes
How To Treat Condensation
It is important to remove any signs of condensation, especially in winter. The typical issues it can lead to include the growth of black mould, rotting wood and damaged plaster. In fact condensation accounts for approximately 70% of damp.
Thankfully there are a few solutions you can try yourself to eliminate condensation from your house windows. The first step is to control the humidity and moisture levels in the house.
It is important to manage the temperature and air flow inside your home, and keeping cold air away from your house. One way to do this is by installing a hygrometer. A dew point hygrometer is used to measure the amount of humidity in your home.
Tips For Controlling Condensation
- Dry your windows and windowsills
- Treat the mould first – then deal with the condensation
- Remove mould with a fungicidal wash
- After treatment – redecorate using fungicidal paint and resistant wallpaper paste to prevent mould recurring
Wear & Tear
As the harsh weather sets in for winter, your house windows will be put to the test! Everything from ice, rain, snow and extreme cold can cause a number of wear and tear issues with your windows.
In many cases, fixtures and fittings can get damaged. This can cause them to become loose or break entirely. The higher levels of moisture can cause window components to deteriorate, increasing the risk of sealant to loosen and window panes to crack.
A broken window is a poor insulator and easy target for potential burglars or vandals. So it can reduce both the comfort and the security of your home.
An important way to protect your window units this winter is by checking your home for things like loose guttering, overhanging trees or broken tiles. They can cause all types of damage to your windows in high winds.
To fix damaged seals, this will involve re-sealing your windows with caulk. Caulk is a timber stormproof material and doesn’t shrink over time.
If you are working with a tighter budget, instead you can buy strips of self-stick rubber weather sealing at a hardware store or online. This will help to close any gaps and keep out drafts.
Leaks & Draft
Is your home not retaining as much heat anymore? This could mean that your house windows have a hidden leak or draft somewhere. They can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare! Window leaks make it harder and less efficient to heat a home throughout the winter.
Drafts and air leaks allow cold air to leak into your home and affects the insulation quality. This can make your home uncomfortable and increase your energy bills. A broken window seal is likely to be the root cause of this.
How To Treat Window Leaks and Draughts
By fixing your window leak or draught, this can reduce your heating bills as much as 15% each year. The first thing to do is find out where the leak or draught is coming from. You can use a weatherstripping to block drafts by creating a secure sealant.
Caulking is another form of sealant designed for gaps in fixtures like window frames. To apply a new caulk sealant, the old caulk must be removed to ensure the new caulk soaks in properly. Once you have applied the new caulk, it requires 12 to 15 hours to dry and set.
Thermal window film is an effective way to improve thermal efficiency of glazing. It can be applied to existing glazing to reduce heat loss by reflecting heat back to its source.
In fact thermal window film can reduce the amount of heat loss by as much as 40%. It has a special coating which reflects radiant heat, without sacrificing the view through the window!
Dirt and Debris
Did you know clean windows work better at keeping out the cold? Unfortunately winter is the time of year where your house windows will get the dirtiest.
Everything from melting snow, fallen leaves to flying dirt and debris can quickly accumulate on both your window surface and inside pores. This can block UV rays (natural heat source) from entering your home.
There is the risk that if debris lands on your window unit, it can cause etching and damage to the glass. If your glazing becomes fragile, this can lead to inconvenient and costly repairs.
Clean windows and frames allow more natural light to enter your home, so it can help to reduce your energy bills. If your windows have heat reflective glass or thermal insulation film, it is important to regularly clean them in order to maintain their effectiveness, performance and longevity.
Here are some tips in order to keep your windows clean:
- Remove dirt and debris from guttering
- Cutaway overhanging branches
- Dust frames and glass
- Wash with cold soapy water
Importance of Winter-proofing your house windows
There are many reasons why winter-proofing your windows in winter is worthwhile. If you protect your windows from harsh winter weather, you’ll be able to minimise the risk of damage to your window glass and frame.
Window maintenance in winter is an effective way to boost your thermal insulation. Clean window glass performs more efficiently at reducing heat loss and protecting debris from collecting in any fixtures. So you can avoid costly repair and replacement fees.