Home Maintenance Series – How to Inspect Windows, Doors to Stop Air and Water Leaks

 This article by Lisa Kaplan Gordon explains a few great simple ideas to check for efficiency. We all need to pay closer attention to the small ways that we can uphold the good content of our wallets. Saving money is a must these days.

Inspect windows and doors regularly to stop air leaks and water seeps that create high energy and repair bills. We’ll show you how.

Take a look at windows, doors and skylights to stop air leaks, foil water drips, and detect the gaps and rot that let the outside in and the inside out. You can perform a quick check with a home air pressure test, or do a detailed inspection. Luckily, these inspections are easy to do. Here’s how to examine the barriers that should stand between you and the elements.

Big picture inspection

A home air pressure test sucks air into the house to reveal air leaks that increase your energy bills. To inspect windows and other openings:

  • Seal the house by locking all doors, windows, skylights, and shutting all vents.
  • Close all dampers and vents.
  • Turn on all kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  • Pass a burning incense stick along all openings—windows, doors, fireplaces, outlets—to pinpoint air rushing in from the outside.

Windows and the outside world

Air and water can seep into closed widows from gaps and rot in frames, deteriorating caulking, cracked glass, and closures that don’t fully close.

To stop air leaks, pinpoint window problems.

  • Give a little shake. If they rattle, frames are not secure, so heat and air conditioning can leak out and rain can seep in. Some caulk and a few nails into surrounding framing will fix this.
  • Look deep. If you can see the outside from around—not through—the window, you’ve got gaps. Stop air leaks by caulking and weather stripping around frames.
  • Inspect window panes for cracks.
  • Check locks. Make sure double-hung windows slide smoothly up and down. If not, run a knife around the frame and sash to loosen any dried paint. Tighten cranks on casement windows and check that top locks fully grab latches.

Door doubts

  • Check doors for cracks that weaken their ability to stop air leaks and water seeps.
  • Inspect weather stripping for peels and gaps.
  • Make sure hinges are tight and doors fit securely in their thresholds.

Inspect skylights

Brown stains on walls under a skylight are telltale signs that water is invading and air is escaping. Cut a small hole in the stained drywall to check for wetness, which would indicate rot, or gaps in the skylight.

To investigate skylight leaks, carefully climb on the roof and look for the following:

  • Open seams between flashing or shingles.
  • Shingle debris that allows water to collect on roofs.
  • Failed and/or cracked cement patches put down the last time the skylight leaked.

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
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