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How to Winterize Your Windows

by Staff Writer

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Home improvement

Things You Need:

  • Window caulking
  • Caulking gun
  • Weather stripping
  • Heavy plastic outside window covering
  • Storm windows
  • Indoor window covering kit
  • Wooden strapping
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Step ladder
  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Hair dryer
  • Hammer and nails or staple gun

Whether you're experienced with winterizing or this is your first attempt at winterizing your windows, with these steps, you'll be able to complete the task. To begin winterizing your home's windows for the winter, you'll want to make sure you have your hand tools and materials on hand.

Winterize Your Windows:

  1. Check the windows to be winterized for any cracks or small holes around the window and frame. If any holes or cracks are found, they should be filled in with caulking. Any excess caulking should be wiped away and allowed to dry per the manufacturer's instructions.

  2. If possible, remove any window screens and replace with storm windows. Be sure to clean any debris from the window tracks where the storm windows will be installed; this will aid in a secure fit.

  3. Use weather stripping to cover any gaps or spaces in parts of the windows that are moveable. First, clean the window parts thoroughly where stripping will be applied; then cut the weather stripping to size, peel the covering off the sticky side and apply where needed with enough pressure to ensure a good seal.

  4. Apply heavy covering to your outside windows. To do this, measure the window frame and add four inches to both the length and width of your measurement; then cut this amount from your heavy plastic covering.

  5. Staple or nail this covering to the window frame. Start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to leave the extra 4 inches of covering around all sides of the frame. Once the covering is in place, you'll want to cut pieces of strapping to cover all four sides of the frame. When the strapping is ready, staple or nail it around the frame of the window over the excess plastic that's covering the frame.

  6. Cover your indoor window using an indoor window covering kit. Clean the area around the frame where you'll be applying the double-sided tape (included in kit) to secure the plastic covering to the window. Once you've measured the frame, cut the tape to size and apply to the window frame. Then you'll cut the plastic covering to the size of the window frame and apply it over the window, pressing to secure it to the tape on the frame. Be sure the covering is secured before proceeding to the next step. At this point, the covering is going to appear wrinkly. You'll then want to use a hair dryer, following the directions included with the window kit, and heat the inside covering until it begins to shrink: This removes the wrinkles and creates both a tighter seal and an insulating air pocket between the window and covering. Now that the final step has been completed, your windows are winterized and ready for the colder months.

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