Tips to Fix Drafty Windows
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Richard in New Jersey on the line who’s looking for a creative way to seal out drafts at the window but not provide his cat something to climb on.
Welcome to The Money Pit.
RICHARD: My friend has a – lives in a garage apartment.
RICHARD: And it has a – it’s an approximately 2-foot-square, crank-out casement window.
RICHARD: And it’s somewhat drafty and we’re looking for a way to possibly insulate it. But we were looking at the film to put on the inside but we’re afraid that the cat would defeat the purpose. So, I was wondering if there was another way, maybe, of doing that from the outside.
TOM: Well, not from the outside, because the plastic is just – could you wrap a window from the outside with plastic? Yeah, I guess you could. It will look really bad but you probably could. But there may be other ways to try to seal out the drafts. You could simply add some weather-stripping around that juncture between the window and the sash itself. Or you could use a product that’s called “weather-stripping caulk.”
Now, it’s a liquid caulk in a tube, like regular caulk, and it kind of comes out like clear silicone. But what it does, it’ll bridge the gap between the different sides of the window. And you’ll basically caulk the window shut for the winter and then in the summer, you can grab the stuff and peel it off and it pulls right off. It doesn’t stick permanently to the paint and it doesn’t damage anything.
So there’s more than one way to try to seal that window for the wintertime. And if the plastic is just going to be an annoyance because the cat is going to want to claw into it and tear it, then you should try weather-stripping or sealing it with weather-stripping caulk.
RICHARD: Oh, OK. That sounds good. Yeah, as long as it’s something that is not permanent.
TOM: No, it’s not. The only thing is that you would not be able to open that window once you caulk it shut, so to speak. So make sure that that’s not part of the egress system. In the event of a fire, you won’t be able to get it open and get out, OK?
RICHARD: And is it – does it come in colors or just basically clear?
TOM: No, it’s clear. It’s clear.
RICHARD: Alright. That sounds great. I didn’t know that that was around. That sounds good.
TOM: Should be in the home centers. And if you don’t see it, ask at the special-order desk. They should be able to find it for you.
RICHARD: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck, Richard. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.