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Why Do Windows Leak Air?

Do you often notice drafts or temperature differences when you’re at or near your windows? Wonder why that happens? Today the window service specialists at Shanco want to discuss drafty windows, and what you can do to make them stop letting in the outdoor air!

What Can Make Windows Leak Air

The obvious answer to the why do they is that they actually shouldn’t. Drafty windows might have been the norm for a homeowner forty, fifty years ago, but modern windows are designed to be air-tight and highly efficient. That means if your windows are drafty you actually have a problem on your hands, and you should be doing something about them.

The most common causes for a drafty window include:

  • Old, outdated windows. As mentioned before, older windows weren’t very impressive. Usually a sparse and simplistic wood frame with a flimsy bit of glass set in. Not much defense against wind, rain, and outside weather. As a general rule, you should consider window replacement roughly every 20 years, and shorter if your home has encountered storm window damage.
  • Damage to the frame of the window. The frames and joints of windows are made of tough stuff, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to damage. Air leaks can crop up as the joints in the frames begin to wear down, or if they’ve become loose.
  • Worn out seals between panes. Double and triple pane windows are the standard these days and for good reason. The air infill coupled with multiple panes adds tons of efficiency, and overall creates a longer-lasting window. This great system is held together by seals that can be found in each pane, and over time these can wear down. Additional signs of seal damage include moisture intrusion, milky film on the glass, condensation, and similar effects.
  • Glass damage. An obvious cause if there ever was one, but it still bears mentioning because many homeowners try to ignore hairline cracks in the glass. It does impact the efficiency of your window! Whether you decide to seek window repair or complete window replacement, make sure it gets done.

The Risks of Leaky Windows

The issue with something like a window creating an imperfect seal is that all of the things that can get in can do serious damage. That goes for the window, the nearby walls, and even your floors. Moisture getting in, even a small amount, leads to mold infestations and rot as well as weakening due to water damage. Replacing a window might seem like a pain, but it’s a lot more agreeable than tearing up the structure of your home to fix water damage to flooring or walls!

And just as bad, letting outdoor air in creates an issue with thermal transfer, meaning your heating or cooling system will have to work harder to keep the home comfortable, costing you valuable energy or fuel.

What Can I Do to Fix Air Leaks?

It depends on what kind of issue you have, and its severity. In many cases a simple new round of weather-stripping can do the trick, or if you’re in a pinch some caulk. However, either of these is going to be a stopgap measure, buying you some time at most. It’s a good way to stall if you need to build a budget or buy some time, but your better option is to simply replace the window entirely when possible.

Window Replacement and Installation in MD, VA, and DC

Need some help deciding what to do with your drafty windows? Contact the home service specialists at Shanco! We’ve been handling the needs of local home and business owners for generations, so when you need a team you can trust to bring you the service you deserve, you can always count on us.

Contact us online today to learn more or give us a call!

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