How to Stop Drafty Windows

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Joyce in Massachusetts, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    JOYCE: I have nine windows and we had someone caulk the windows with the window sills, because we live in Boston and the cold air has been blowing in. I want to know how I can seal them up, because it didn’t do one iota thing for the gentlemen caulking the nine windows.

    TOM: Didn’t do any good, huh? And did he caulk them from the outside or from the inside?

    JOYCE: From the inside, because this is an apartment building. And what – we’re on the seventh floor and we have windows going on different angles. And so I’m trying to find out what is the easiest way to prevent the cold from blowing in, because it’s unbearable.

    TOM: OK. Since you’re on the seventh floor, I presume that you don’t use your windows – you would never use your windows for emergency egress. Do any of them go to a fire escape or anything like that?

    JOYCE: No, no.

    TOM: OK. So, there’s two things that you can do here, one of which is you can use a shrink film. It’s a clear plastic wrap that you cut to fit the size of the window. You attach it with a double-face – clear double-face tape that comes with it. And then you use your hair dryer to heat it and it becomes very taut and clear so it doesn’t obstruct the view.

    JOYCE: What about weatherstripping, like weather felt?

    TOM: Well, that’s all possible but there’s another option. And the reason I asked you if you needed to use your windows for egress is because I was going to recommend temporary weatherstripping caulk.

    Now, there’s a caulk that’s like a weatherstripping sealant but it’s a temporary sealant, OK? So the way this works is you essentially caulk your windows shut. You caulk all the seams in the window, where they slide up and down, with this clear, temporary caulk. And then what happens is in the spring, you can actually grab the edge of this caulk and peel it right off. It comes off like a clear, rubbery strip. And it enables you to essentially seal your windows shut in the winter and then restore them in the spring.

    JOYCE: Thank you very much. And I enjoy your program immensely.

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