With summer fast approaching, chances are you’re excited to spend more time out on your patio. You’re probably ready to open up your sliding patio doors and let in that fresh air…
But like many homeowners in Wisconsin, you may discover your patio door isn’t working quite as smoothly as you’d like. You wrestle to slide it open; it goes off track. You worry about the locking mechanism, so you jam a broom handle in the bottom. You notice air seeps in, even in the winter and the seal doesn’t keep out the cold.
Bad patio doors become the bane of a homeowner’s existence. It’s a constant struggle. If this sounds like you, it’s time to consider patio door replacement. Weather Tight is ready to help!
5 Signs It’s Time for Patio Door Replacement
The most obvious sign of a patio door problem is one that “jumps the track” every time you slide it open. Generally, the difficulty extends to the screen, too. Screen doors are often the nemesis of a patio door owner. The door may seem to work somewhat properly, but the screen gets stuck, feels flimsy, and is tough to open.
When your patio door is difficult or hard to use, it’s less convenient to enjoy your home. If you need to walk all the way around your house to get to your patio, that’s a major (and annoying) problem. Of course, there are a few other common issues with patio doors, too. Here are 5 signs it’s time to consider a patio door replacement.
1. Your Patio Door Has Fogged Glass
People approach us often saying, “I think my door is fine, but the glass is all fogged up.” Unfortunately, this is often a sign the seal around the door is shot. Fogging is different from normal window condensation; it typically appears (and stays) trapped between panes of glass. Not only is fogged glass unsightly, but it’s a sign moisture is leaking between glass panes. You’re getting heat loss and other issues.
When a Weather Tight expert comes out, they’ll take a look at your door. We’ve seen circumstances where the door is fine and there’s simply a problem with the glass (in which case we’ll refer you to a glass replacement specialist who will fix the glass easily). Most of the time, however, fogged glass is an indicator of bigger issues with the patio door.
2. You See Mildew and Discoloration Around the Patio Door Seal and Floor
Another common concern with patio doors, especially in the spring when warmth and moisture come in, is mildew along the sealing around the glass. Another tale-tale sign is discoloration on the floor near the door. Here in Wisconsin, moisture seepage is a big issue thanks to those icy winters.
Most older patio doors were built with an aluminum track. Unfortunately, this type of track isn’t ideal for cold weather, especially if there’s a patio or deck leading up to the patio door. Snow and ice build right up around the door itself. Aluminum conducts the ice and you’ll see it melt, refreeze, and rot around the door.
How do you know when it’s time to replace your patio door? Learn more about patio door replacement with this Tod & Todd’s home improvement tips video!
3. Ants are Marching in Your Home
Another (annoying) sign that patio door replacement is needed? Ants marching in your home. Often when the seal around the patio door doesn’t close tightly due to rot (or because you’ve had to force the door open and closed, misshaping it), small spaces form. These spaces are perfect for letting in ants and other pests. Even worse, we’ve seen many situations where we take out a door to discover ants have eaten away the substructure, knee wall, and wall below it. You often can’t see the damage until it’s quite far along.
If ants can get in and out of your home, cold air is getting inside in the winter as well. You’re likely experiencing heat loss around your poorly sealed patio door. While the screen is great for letting in the breeze during the summer months, you may also be overworking your air conditioner when you close the door because the door is no longer airtight.
4. You Need a Broom Handle to “Lock” Your Patio Door
One of the biggest dangers that homeowners face with old patio doors is security. Unfortunately, older doors don’t close or lock properly. Often, when you’ve had to shake and wiggle the door to get it on track, you’ve also made the door looser and easier to jimmy open. If someone wants to get in, they’ll wiggle the door hard enough to free it of the single, short lock.
Many homeowners mitigate this problem by getting out their trusty broom handle. We’ve heard more than one instance of the broom handle falling down in the track accidentally and locking the homeowner out! Intruders, on the other hand, won’t hesitate to use a screwdriver to easily pop up the broom handle/wooden bar and get right in.
Our replacement patio doors feature an ultra-secure three-point locking system. The door locks in three locations along the frame. Instead of using short screws to secure the door, we use longer screws that go all the way into the door frame. This ensures you can put away your broom handle and feel safe because there’s no way to break the door open by wiggling it.
5. Your Door Is Difficult to Open or Has to Be Forced
Again, probably the most common complaint of all is difficulty opening patio doors. What happens when a homeowner can’t open their patio door (especially in the summer months, when it’s being used all the time)? They wiggle it around. They wrestle with the door. They force it open and closed. This means your door gets bent and the frame no longer fits into the track.
There’s no reason to feel bad about forcing your patio door open too many times. The truth is, older patio doors were poorly made. The wheels lock up and they jump off track. The flimsy screens get easily bent and become unusable. It’s a serious pain in the neck.
Replacement patio doors from Weather Tight feature screens hung like barn doors—from the top using a rail. Instead of bearing weight, the screens are suspended from a monorail on the top. They slide easily and more consistently. They don’t get bound up in the track or become misshapen from being wiggled around. Many homeowners can’t believe how much easier it is to slide the new patio doors open and closed, and then securely lock them when needed.
If you’re ready to enjoy summer with a beautiful, easy-to-use, secure patio door, give us a call! Our Weather Tight experts are happy to schedule a consultation to assess your current door and patio door replacement needs. New doors will help you step outside with ease and enjoy the sunshine on your patio. Don’t let another summer go by while you wrestle with your patio door—call today!
In the spring, the sun comes out, the snow melts…and many homeowners start to worry about their roof. If winter was unkind to your roof, you may be considering roof replacement.
Roof replacement seems like a big undertaking, but it’s not as bad as you may think. Better yet, roof replacement adds to the look, comfort, and value of your home. It’s an investment, but one that quickly pays for itself in surprising ways. For almost all homeowners, the cost is the biggest concern when considering roof replacement, but the truth is, the benefits of a great roof often outweigh the cost.
Is it time to replace? And if so, what you should expect in the process? Here’s what you need to know about roof replacement.
The Number One Reason Roofs Fail
Obviously, the roof on your home is necessary for your protection and to keep out the weather elements, but most homeowners often overlook factors in their roof’s ventilation performance (or the lack thereof). We often forget how important ventilation is in our homes. When you have living, breathing families on the inside, they’re producing heat, moisture, and air. Not only is the roof keeping the air and bad weather out of your home, but it’s also holding in the air and heat.
Often the roofing problems we see come down to ventilation issues. If you think about the function of a roof, the cool air should enter from the eaves into the ventilation (the grids on the underside of your eaves). The air should be exhausted in an equal amount at the ridge of the roof. The hot air should escape from the top. When warm air doesn’t escape and becomes trapped, it gets very hot, causing the shingles to curl and eventually break.
Another indicator of a ventilation problem with your roof is the appearance of icicles underneath the gutter line. This is a sign your attic is too hot. Your home is melting the ice and snow underneath the top, forming an ice dam. That moisture seeps into and under the shingles, causing major problems like leaking, damage to the ceiling or insulation, and mold.
Some companies might simply tell you the problem can be fixed by patching with shingles, but that’s not a sustainable, long-term solution. In the long run, a patch job will end up costing you, the homeowner, a lot more money because it doesn’t address the underlying issue.
Instead, a trained professional should do proper measurements to factor in the amount of exhaust, heat, and ventilation. Not only do these factors contribute to the life of your roof, but they ensure your warranty stays valid as well. Putting new shingles on a damaged roof may invalidate your warranty and cause bigger problems in the future. Think of it as a band-aid to an injury.
To learn more about the importance of roofing ventilation, don’t miss our video.
Is It Time Consider Roof Replacement?
Is it time to start considering roof replacement? While ventilation related concerns aren’t the only area to examine, they’re a big determining factor. Other roofing-related concerns to look at include:
- Roof staining and discoloration, which indicates water damage.
- The state of the flashing. Is it loose, detached, or cracking?
- The state of the gutters. Are they clogged, leading to water seepage and other issues? Are they properly attached and working?
- The interior ceiling of the home. Look for any water damage, leaking, or signs of roof failure.
When considering roof replacement, it’s easy to focus on price, but it’s also important to ensure your new roof will address ventilation or the root cause of your roofing issues. When our Weather Tight experts assess your roofing needs, they always look at the underlying factors like the ventilation system, the state of the flashing, the gutters, and the interior of your home.
Your free in-home roof assessment and estimate begins with a satellite image of your roof, giving our experts the dimensions, pitches, and protrusions, they need to consider. This helps them to gather exact measurements for their report. Our consultants will go inside your attic, given that they have ample availability to do so, to examine the area that’s supposed to be ventilated. They’ll take a look at the state of your insulation, the ventilation system, and areas like the roof deck for moisture, damage, and breakage.
There are many factors indicating when roof replacement is needed. Your Weather Tight expert will walk you through many of the considerations. If you decide to comparison shop, it’s important that any expert walks you through all your options and explains the process.
A great roof replacement assessment will consider and cover all these factors:
- Is the old roof being torn off or is the new roof material being layered over the top?
- What type of underlayment is being used?
- How is the roof being installed and what is the process?
- What brand or products are used?
- How are the nails placed and how many were used?
- Was the ventilation assessed and how is it being considered in your new roof plan?
Ready for An Update? Should You Choose Metal or Asphalt for Your Roof?
Once you’ve determined you’re ready for a roof replacement or event just considering looking further into it, the fun begins: deciding on the look of your new roof! When deciding on the style of roof, the biggest question is: should I choose metal or asphalt for my roof?
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with an asphalt shingle roof. Good quality shingles will come with a 20-year warranty (bear in mind, it typically doesn’t cover labor). So, do the research on your current roof as well as the new roof material before you begin. Most shingle roofs will last around twenty years maximum.
If you’re looking for a more permanent option, a metal roof is a lifetime solution that can be passed down from generation to generation.
The advantages of metal roofing include:
- Surprising savings on cost, thanks to energy efficiency.
- No noisier than asphalt shingles.
- May improve your home insurance costs.
- Protects and stands up against heat.
- Fewer environmental risks than asphalt.
- Much longer lifespan.
- Not to mention, they look pretty cool.
If you decide to go with a metal roof, there are so many colors and styles available. While the initial cost of a metal roof is higher than a shingle roof, the lifetime cost is much lower. For these reasons, we’re seeing a growing trend toward metal roofs here in the United States. They’ve already become quite popular in Canada and Europe.
Metal roofing improves the look of your home and provides energy efficient advantages. The roofing has a protective coating that stands up against heat, stays cooler, and works with your air conditioning to keep your home cool in the summer. In the winter, metal roofing prevents snow buildup and stands up to wet winter weather.
Whatever your choice for roof replacement, we’ll help you explore your best options. Our Weather Tight team works carefully to protect your home so replacing your roof is a relatively painless process. There will be some noise, dust, debris, and vibration, particularly in the attic, but most customers report the process was faster and easier than they imagined.
Weather Tight is proud to participate in the Roofs to Roads program. When a roof is replaced, the shingles are recycled and made into roads. This keeps the roof replacement process environmentally-friendly and worry-free.
Our Weather Tight experts are happy to discuss your options and do a free assessment and demonstration on your current roof. If you’re considering roof replacement, let us help improve the look, energy efficiency, and comfort of your home today!
Are you looking at your home’s windows and asking the age-old question: to replace or not to replace? If you’re considering buying replacement windows for your home, you may have a lot of questions.
While buying replacement windows may seem like a large investment up front, it’s often a wise decision that saves you money in the long run. Buying replacement windows is a purchase that quickly pays you back by increasing your home’s value as well as your comfort and the quality of life inside your home, not to mention the savings on your energy bill.
If you’re considering buying replacement windows, here’s what you need to know to determine if the time is right. When you’re ready, Weather Tight’s friendly product experts will help you choose the best replacement windows to suit the look of your home (as well as your budget).
Is It Time for Buying Replacement Windows?
There are a few areas to consider if you’re thinking of buying replacement windows for your home. The first step is to check out the condition of your current windows.
To assess the condition of your windows, take a look at the following:
1. The Windows Themselves
First and foremost, look at the windows in your home. Are there cracks? Do they leak? Does a great deal of moisture accumulate in between the panes (different from the natural phenomenon of window condensation, which is generally harmless)? If your windows are broken, very old, in poor condition, or the glass is damaged, it’s definitely time to invest in replacement windows. New windows will improve the value, livability, and look of your home.
2. The Condition of the Pane
Next, examine the window pane. Is the paint on the window sill flaking off? Does the wood appear cracked? Has the stain faded? These are telltale signs your windows are no longer properly keeping heat inside your home in the winter and outside your home in the summer. While cracking wood and paint is often seen in older homes, it’s not uncommon to see poor window pane conditions in houses built in the last 20 years. Why? Because the materials used in many mass construction projects and planned communities are often not the highest quality.
3. Hardware and Casement
The next area of your window to examine is the inside casement and hardware. Is the window difficult to open? Does it stick or does it feature a crank that’s challenging to maneuver? Not only are hardware and casement issues frustrating to deal with, but they contribute to safety and security issues as well. It’s important windows open and close easily to let in fresh air and for ease of cleaning. It’s also imperative windows lock tightly when you need them to.
4. Air Loss
Do you have air leaks around your window? Use a simple damp hand test around the window to see if you’re getting air loss. Simply wet your hand and hold it near the perimeter of the window. If you feel any cool air, it’s a big sign you’re experiencing air infiltration and air leakage.
5. Your Heating Bill
Another sign of faulty windows is a high energy bill. It’s difficult to tell if your bill has simply slowly risen over the years due to increasing energy costs or if it’s related to air leakage, but when you invest in quality replacement windows, your energy bill will almost certainly go down.
6. Your In-Home Comfort
Do you wear socks in your home all the time? Do you put plastic on your windows in the winter? Do you need a blanket whenever you’re enjoying movies on the couch? These little inconveniences may seem small, but they add up to less satisfaction and comfort in your home. Your home should be a place you relax and feel comfortable without reaching for a sweater.
7. The Curb Appeal of Your Home
Does the look of your windows enhance your home’s curb appeal? Even if you don’t plan to sell your home or move, new windows are an excellent investment to increase the value and look of your house. Nothing brightens up a house like fresh, new windows, especially when Weather Tight will ensure your replacement windows blend seamlessly with your home.
Ready to Buy Replacement Windows? You Have Plenty of Options
There are many replacement window options out there, but it’s Weather Tights’ dedication to customer service and the Wisconsin community that’s made us Wisconsin’s Most Recommended Home Remodeler. Our replacement windows are backed by a lifetime transferable warranty to give you peace of mind in your investment.
If you’re ready to replace your windows and give your home a facelift, Weather Tight is ready to help. We offer a free in-home assessment where we’ll look at the performance of your current windows and discuss the possibilities as well as options, so you can make an educated decision regarding this household purchase.
As you look into buying replacement windows, you’ll find you have many choices. With Weather Tight, every window is custom manufactured to fit the look and style of your home. An expert will work with you to come up with a plan for your home and design your windows around your needs.
Get to Know Weather Tight Replacement Windows
At Weather Tight, we offer beautiful energy-efficient replacement windows with endless options for customization to fit the look and style of your home. Using patented designs from Restorations, our replacement windows offer minimal frames to enhance your view by up to 30%!
For durability and reliability, there’s no better window pane material than vinyl. The amazing aspect of vinyl is it’s both strong and flexible. Replacement windows of the past often included heavy, bulky frames to hold the panes of thick glass in place. Now with modern technology, windows are lightweight, and frames no longer need to be bulky. With fusion welding, each piece of vinyl is fused together, creating a frame that won’t leak or wear out. This ensures high performance and reliability for the life of your window.
The frames are also insulated with environmentally-friendly, CFC-free polyurethane, making them the most energy efficient windows on the market. Our airtight windows protect against the worst of weather and keep your home dry, temperature controlled, and comfortable (not to mention the savings on your energy bill).
While function is important, of course, customers are often concerned about the aesthetics of window replacement as well. After all, you want windows to fit the look and feel of your home. If you’re only replacing some of your windows or including exterior updates, you want windows to blend in and match the rest of your home design.
Weather Tight windows are available in a variety of different color combinations and woodgrains to ensure each window matches your homes exterior and blends seamlessly with the look of your house. Choose from window options including double hung, full frame, sliding, casement, bow, and bay windows. We also can work with condo & homeowner associations to color match your window needs.
Thanks to the energy efficient triple-pane glass in our sliding and casement windows, Weather Tight vinyl replacement windows offer the best air infiltration rates available. Our windows offer convenience, easy cleaning, and updated hardware for improved security. Select windows with specialty tempered safety glass or glass to prevent UV rays from fading furniture and carpets. Thermal pane windows are filled with noble argon gas, which improves thermal efficiency and lasts for many years.
Are there windows in your home you’re not so fond of? The options for customization are endless. We can resize your windows, change the type of window, and ensure the trim fits perfectly with the look of your home. There are also many ways to reduce the cost of window replacement. In the long run, it’s a sound investment in the value, security, and enjoyment of your home.
So, if you’re considering buying replacement windows, there’s no better time to explore your options. Reach out to one of our friendly Weather Tight customer service representatives today to schedule your free consultation. You’ll be glad you did!
We’re proud to announce the new and improved Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program!
At Weather Tight, we deeply appreciate the referrals we get from happy customers. There’s no better endorsement than a customer who tells friends about the excellent service, and as Wisconsin’s most recommended home remodeler, we know the importance of a satisfied customer.
Customers who take the time to refer others to Weather Tight for their home remodeling needs deserve recognition for their thoughtful recommendations. That’s why we’ve created our exciting Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program to reward YOU for passing Weather Tight services on to your family and friends.
Want to learn more about the great benefits of the Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program? Here are all the details you need to know to reap the benefits of customer referrals.
The Benefits of the Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program
We want to give back to our customers by offering you rewards every time you refer someone to Weather Tight and they join our family. In fact, there’s no limit to the number of referrals you can submit!
For every successful customer referral who purchases services from Weather Tight, we’ll give you 10,000 rewards points. The power of praise will put money right into your pocket!
How do you use your Weather Tight Customer Rewards points? There are several ways. Choose from gift cards to over 100 great stores where you regularly shop. Or, if you want to stretch your points even further, swap them for Weather Tight Cash – and your points double so you can use them for money off your next home improvement purchase with Weather Tight.
Your friends won’t be left out of the rewards either! Each friend, neighbor, family member, or coworker you refer to us will receive an instant $200 off their purchase. All they need to do to receive this unbeatable discount is mention your name when scheduling their appointment or better yet, you can submit the referral online and we can call them to schedule their estimate.
It’s easy to get Weather Tight Customer Rewards and there’s an option for everyone to benefit!
How to Get Your Weather Tight Customer Rewards Points
We’ve made it simple for customers to submit referrals and earn Weather Tight Customer Rewards points. The process is easy:
- Visit WeatherTightRewards.com
- Click on “Submit a Referral.”
- Fill out the contact information for your referral and they’ll be contacted by a friendly Weather Tight customer service representative to schedule their FREE in-home consultation.
- When your referral’s job clears, you’ll receive an email with your WeatherTightRewards.com login information.
- Visit the “My Points Balance” tab and check out the points you’ve acquired!
- Visit the “Request Gift Cards” tab and request your cards. Or, double your points by choosing Weather Tight Cash.
- Enter your address and submit your request. Your gift cards will arrive in the mail!
It’s that easy to benefit from the Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program. There are hundreds of stores to choose from, including many popular online retailers, services, food, and more. There’s a little something for everyone, including you!
Check out this easy-to-follow video, where we walk you through the Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program step-by-step and tell you everything you need to know!
If you haven’t used Weather Tight yet, but are planning to schedule a job in the future, save money on your project by making referrals. Like we said, your Weather Tight Customer Rewards points double as Weather Tight Cash, it’s like putting money in the bank.
If you are a Weather Tight customer, the official Weather Tight referral forms can be found in the post-job folder you’ll receive from our installation team when they complete your project. The referral cards can be mailed in and used toward the Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program as well.
Share the Love with Weather Tight
We value our customers at Weather Tight! Because we live right here in the Wisconsin community, we’re your friends, family, and neighbors. We’re an employee-owned company and we’re proud to be part of the community.
We know and love Wisconsin and want to share the love with each of our customers.
If you’re ready to start referring (and reaping the rewards), your own friends, coworkers, and family members are a great place to start. Neighbors are often great referrals too because houses in a neighborhood tend to age at the same rate. Once they see your great improvements, they’ll want to know how they can improve the look of their home too.
If you’re happy with our work, tell your friends and family about your Weather Tight experience. We’ve built our reputation on trust and transparency. We pride ourselves on offering unsurpassed customer service and promise to extend the same great service to each friend you refer!
The Weather Tight Customer Rewards Program is another way we’re proud to serve as Wisconsin’s most referred home remodeler. Start referring and benefit today!
Weather Tight Corporation is an integral part of our community. From becoming the Official Home Remodeler of the Milwaukee Bucks to our work throughout Wisconsin for over 30 years, we’re your neighbors, family, and friends.
When our business undergoes changes, we feel it’s important to share the news with our customers. That’s why we’re excited and proud to announce that Weather Tight is becoming an Employee-Owned Company. We’re officially setting up an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).
Now you’re probably thinking that’s great news for Weather Tight employees, but how does this affect the community? Even more so, how does Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company affect customers and homeowners?
What is an ESOP?
In short, providing an ESOP allows employees to earn company stock during their employment. Holding stock means employees actually become owners of Weather Tight as their stock in the company grows during their years of employment. This provides Weather Tight with a succession plan to ensure the company continues to grow and thrive well into the future.
Our current owners, Todd and Tod, aren’t handing off the reigns completely and sailing away into retirement tomorrow (or any time soon), however. One of the great benefits of Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company is it still allows Todd and Tod to lead and oversee the company for years to come. It simply ensures that when the time comes for them to slowly pass the torch and enjoy those retirement years, the great company culture of Weather Tight will stay safely in place, providing excellent customer service for years to come.
Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company and offering an ESOP will provide employees with a growing retirement vehicle. It offers a great incentive for our current employees to stay with the company for the long term and an excellent benefit to attract new employees as well. It means the company’s success pays off for each team member.
The Benefits to YOU of Weather Tight Becoming an Employee-Owned Company
The big question is, how will this affect our customers and what is the benefit to you? After all, without the support of the Wisconsin community, Weather Tight wouldn’t exist, company-owned or otherwise.
Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company is very positive for our community and our customers. In fact, it will benefit our customers in several surprising and exciting ways.
There are many excellent companies and household names that are employee-owned. You may be familiar with Gore-Tex, Morgan Stanley, Southwest Airlines, P&G, and SAIC–all well-known employee-owned companies. In fact, there are over 7000 ESOPs since the concept was established in 1974, putting Weather Tight in great company with…well many great companies!
Offering an ESOP pays off for everyone involved (including the customer). Studies show employee ownership has a positive effect on the bottom line; it’s true and for good reasons:
- ESOP companies vs. non-ESOP companies show a 4% higher productivity rate.
- In all studies, offering ESOPs increase a company’s performance.
You see, when employees become owners, they’re directly invested in a company’s success; their benefits increase when the company does well. Because of the draw of an ESOP, the company is able to attract top talent and continue to retain the best employees. Those employees are driven to perform because they know when the company does well, they also do well. And all that success and financial well-being is passed to the surrounding community.
Being an employee-owned company adds up to safer and more pleasant work environments. Employees become more conscious of waste and have a personal stake in getting a job completed on budget, on time, and efficiently.
Employees gain a voice and a say in the operations of the company. They can share in what’s working at a company and what isn’t and can pass on customer concerns to management. When employees are co-owners, their input is vital.
The ultimate outcome of Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company is even better customer service for YOU!
Now, at Weather Tight, we already pride ourselves on providing superior service and added value to our customers. We go above and beyond to complete each job in a timely manner that leaves our customers delighted. We like to think the benefits of Weather Tight becoming an employee-owned company are just the icing on what’s already an excellent cake.
We’re proud to share this exciting company news with our customers!
If you would like to learn more about any of our services, please drop us a line. We also invite you to visit our West Allis showroom. Our customer representatives look forward to continued service to our friends, neighbors, and family here in Wisconsin. If you are interested in joining our Weather Tight team, we also have our job postings available on our website. We would love to add to our Employee Owned organization.
We get some wonderful questions from our customers, who often want to know more about the latest improvements in windows and window manufacturing. Recently, we received this great question regarding the steps manufacturers are taking to prevent air leaks around window panes—a common concern for any homeowner.
Dear Todd & Tod,
I know that double hung windows are only as good as the seals around them to prevent drafts and air leaks. What improvements have manufacturers made lately to create better seals and prevent air leaks around window panes?
First of all, we want to thank Edward for this excellent question! Here in Wisconsin, air infiltration around windows in your home is a big problem, especially in cold weather.
At Weather Tight, we have over 30 years of experience battling these cold winter months. During that time, we’ve seen many changes and improvements in window manufacturing. Here’s how manufacturers are designing better seals to prevent air leaks around window panes.
What’s So Bad About Air Leaks Around Window Panes?
We all know windows are designed to keep the warm air inside and to keep the cold air out during the winter time. Without proper sealing solutions, the windows become less effective. Cold air seeps into your home and can greatly impact your comfort and wellbeing.
Air leaks are a huge worry and expense for homeowners. Much of the heat loss in your home stems from drafty windows (as well as through a roof that may need a replacement) and as the heat goes out and cold comes in, your energy bill continues to skyrocket. This not only means extra blankets and socks when you’re watching a movie on the couch, but it means spending extra money to heat your home as you turn up the thermostat.
Here in the Midwest, we often see homeowners getting out the plastic and tape to prevent dreaded window drafts in the winter. There are a number of reasons why plastic on the windows isn’t an effective or long-term solution. If you can feel the cold air leaking around your window panes, chances are you need window replacement, not plastic and tape!
Of course, the question on every homeowner’s mind is: are new windows really worth the investment? If manufacturers aren’t taking steps to improve the seals and design of the windows, are you doomed to replace them every decade as the seals wear out?
The good news is that over the last decade, window manufacturers have made huge improvements in airtight features of their windows. Today, windows hold up to cold weather and keep your house safe and comfortable for years to come. Here’s what manufacturers are doing to ensure your new windows will prevent air leaks around window panes.
Improvement in Modern Window Seals and Design
There is a great deal of new technology used in window seals and design. Even in the last 10-15 years, great strides have been made to prevent air loss around window panes. Older homes and even homes built in the last few decades may need window replacement, especially if the original window panes were made with materials like aluminum, wood, or steel.
With these improved window sealing and design features, you can rest assured that your new windows will remain tightly sealed for years and years to come. Here are the best features in new windows to prevent air leaks around window panes.
If you’re concerned about air leaks around your current windows, the first step is to check the weather-stripping. The stripping should be in good condition, not folded down or damaged. Stripping should run all the way around the perimeter of the window, as well as across the center.
Most weatherstripping features a raised point or “fin” in the middle of the strip. This is called the Mylar fin. It makes the stripping stand up stronger and taller as it compresses against the window frame. This Mylar fin is key in helping to prevent air leaks around window panes, keeping the window airtight.
These days, window manufacturers are using double and even triple weather-stripping for the lowest air infiltration rates. Weather Tight replacement windows, such as our full-frame windows, feature this unsurpassed air leak prevention. The more weather stripping the manufacturers use, the better off your window will be in terms of air leaks and air infiltration.
Bottom of the Window Sealing
If you look along the bottom of most new windows, you’ll see what’s called a bulb seal. This is a rounded rubber seal that keeps the window tightly sealed and prevents air leakage. This seal should also be in excellent condition—free of cracks or damage. If your bulb seal isn’t in good shape, this can often be the source of window air leakage.
Think of the window’s bulb seal as being similar to the seal around your refrigerator and freezer door. It keeps cold air from leaking out of the fridge and ensures your food stays a consistent temperature. Similarly, the bulb seal keeps your home at a consistent temperature and prevents air from getting in and out under the window.
Many new windows now feature a double seal. While one seal is good, two is, of course, better. When you close your window, the cold air is completely sealed out, allowing almost nothing in across the bottom and side of the window. This keeps your home warm and comfortable in the cold months when your windows are closed.
Special Tapered Locks
Older homes may feature windows with simple metal locks and even clamps, screw-in, and squeeze-locks that keep the window shut and locked.
While these locks are an important security feature that prevents the window from being opened from the outside, they don’t effectively seal the window and prevent air leaks around window panes. They can also be difficult to open in an emergency situation (or for simply cleaning the window).
Newer windows, however, feature special tapered locks. When you close the window and lock it, the window sashes are tightly squeezed together. This tight closure holds the weather stripping exactly where it needs to be to stop air leaks and cold air from sneaking through.
Strong Fiberglass Frames
We think of windows as solid structures that don’t move at all. The truth is, when the wind blows hard against window frames, they can bow and move. This is called deflection and it happens in almost all homes.
When this occurs, the movement and pressure alters the window frame, which can eventually become loose. The weather stripping will then no longer create an effective seal against the window and window pane and unfortunately, you will start to see some air infiltration.
Newer replacement windows remedy this problem by using a number of reinforcement materials. Some are made of wood, aluminum, or steel. None of these materials are nearly as effective as fiberglass, which has the tensile strength of steel but is a non-conductive material (which is why fiberglass is also used in home insulation).
With non-conductive fiberglass, the cold won’t seep in through the window frame and get into your home. Fiberglass also prevents the sash from misshaping and stays strong in all types of weather. This is a cutting-edge solution for strong, airtight windows.
So, if you’re experiencing air infiltration with your windows, take the plastic off your winter prep list. Chances are, it’s time to look at installing replacement windows to prevent air leaks around window panes.
If you’re ready to install new windows and improve the comfort, livability, and look of your home, Weather Tight is here to help! Contact us today and we’ll talk you through the process. We’re happy to visit your home and assess the effectiveness of your windows. Call us today to learn how affordable new windows can be. You’ll save the discomfort and high energy bills that come with leaky windows in the winter.
Here at Weather Tight, we get a lot of questions about condensation buildup on windows. First of all, it’s important to know: window condensation doesn’t always indicate there’s a problem with the window!
The window can be perfectly installed and sealed tight and window condensation may still occur. It’s a natural phenomenon for windows brought on by cold air from the outside and warm air on the inside of your house (something we all face regularly here in Wisconsin).
But window condensation still becomes a nuisance and can be an eyesore to homeowners. Here’s why window condensation occurs and what you can do to combat the buildup of condensation on your windows.
Is Window Condensation Normal?
Condensation, or tiny droplets of water, build up on your windows. It’s certainly a bit unnerving when you suddenly notice your window is wet or the windowsill is damp. This leads many people to worry the windows are leaking or not working properly.
First, the good news is, when you see the buildup of condensation on your windows, it’s totally normal. This occurs when a cold surface temperature meets warm air. The glass between the outside and the inside becomes covered in tiny droplets of moisture. The moist air is actually coming from inside the home, not a leak from outside.
Weather forecasters describe the condensation phenomenon as the “dewpoint.” It’s when a cool air mass meets a warm air mass. With the right dewpoint or humidity in the surrounding air, water (or in the case of weather, rain) is going to occur. Window condensation doesn’t necessarily mean your window is broken or defective! In fact, it’s simply a natural occurrence, similar to the mirror in your bathroom fogging up during a shower or the “sweating” you see on glassware filled with an icy beverage.
Even with condensation, the window can still perform as it’s supposed to—bouncing heat off the glass in the wintertime and keeping the heat inside your home. Your home can be stable and warm, and your heating bills low, yet you may still see condensation on your windows. In the summer, your windows keep the warm air outside and the cool air inside, but with a lot of humidity in the home, you may still see window condensation.
Condensation is moisture, however, and moisture can cause problems for your home including (but not limited to):
- Rot and mildew of the windowsill.
- Mildew and damage to the window trim and caulk.
- Moisture damage to the paint and surrounding furniture.
What Causes Condensation Build Up on Windows?
There are many aspects of your home and lifestyle that contribute to window condensation. Often, people notice condensation in the winter months because the house is more closed off, trapping moisture. Over the humid summer, moisture builds up in the house and at the beginning of the heating season, you see more condensation. Homes with recent construction and newer building materials may also contain extra moisture adding to the window condensation, but the moisture will usually dissipate after the first few months of heating.
Homeowners can control or prevent some of the causes of window condensation. Others may require you to work around.
Here are the leading causes of window condensation in your home.
1. Human Beings
Yes, YOU could be a major part of the window condensation issue. Humans are made up of 60% water and exhale approximately a cup of water into the air each day. While a cup seems like a minor amount, a family of four exhales a gallon of water every four days. It’s easy to see how this adds up quickly. However, short of holding our breath, there’s not much we can do about the amount of water we give off.
2. Number of Showers
When you shower, water naturally goes into the air. This is especially true of a hot shower which gives off steam. Lowering the temperature of your shower and running the bathroom fan will make a big difference in dispensing the moisture. Still, if the mirror in the bathroom is fogged after you shower, chances are your windows will show condensation as well.
Laundry is another source of moisture in the air of your home. If you wash clothes in hot temperatures, steam and hot water will escape into the air. If your washer drains openly into a sink or drain in the floor, even more water is getting into the surrounding atmosphere. This is why laundry rooms and basements often feel damp. Washing your clothing on a lower temperature will eliminate a little of the moisture. Avoid air-drying your clothes indoors, which adds to the moisture too.
4. Kitchen Activity
Cooking, running the dishwasher, and the sink all contribute to window condensation. A boiling pot of water on the stove, a slow cooker, or a rice cooker give off steam, causing moisture buildup on your windows. Running your kitchen fan whenever you’re using the stove or a water-related appliance helps to keeps the air dry. Check all plumbing leaks and take care of them right away.
Just like humans, our furry companions also give off moisture in the air. Additionally, water dishes and fountains are another source of water in your house. Do you own a fish tank? Evaporation from the tank contributes to condensation in the surrounding air as well. This is why fish owners often see condensation on the top of their aquarium.
Plants give off water in a process known as transpiration—essentially, evaporation through the plant leaves. An oak tree gives off an unbelievable 40,000 gallons of water in a year! Now, chances are, you don’t have an oak tree in your living room, but if you own several houseplants, you may see increased window condensation even from smaller greenery.
Often people with health concerns and allergies are told to run a humidifier in their home. Humidifiers are especially effective for those with asthma and respiratory issues. Often, humidifiers are even recommended by doctors. In Wisconsin, our average outdoor humidity is around 72% and stays fairly consistent throughout the year. Inside your home, the relative humidity varies based on temperature and all the factors listed here including, of course, the use of a humidifier. Comfortable home humidity levels are usually around 30-40%.
8. Register Placement
The heat registers in your home also affect the levels of window condensation. Many registers are located right beneath windows in your home. When the furnace kicks on, it’s blowing warm air and moisture right onto the surface of the window above. This creates the window condensation you see on the glass.
9. Age of Your Home
Newer homes built in the last 30 years feature standard six-inch-walls filled with insulation. In newer attics, you’ll see 20-30 inches of insulation. These newer homes were designed to hold in heat and keep temperatures consistent inside. One of the effects of the extra insulation is keeping humidity and moisture inside the home…resulting in window condensation. Older homes may not have the same issues, but older musty basements and other issues also contribute to window condensation.
10. Location and Water Table
Depending on where you live and the water table you live on, you may also experience water coming up from the ground and pressing on your foundation. If your basement has a sump pump, for example, or simply feels “damp,” it may add to the moisture in the air of your home. If you’re close to a body of water, you may see more water in the air as well.
How to Prevent Window Condensation
Now, the above factors all play a role in the window condensation of your home, but for most of us it’s impractical to rearrange the heat registers, throw out our plants, or give up showering and cooking. Window condensation is a result of living comfortably in our homes.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat window condensation easily.
Turn on ceiling fans to circulate air
If you own a ceiling fan, turning it on will keep the air circulating and reduce condensation buildup on your windows. In the winter, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to run clockwise on a lower speed. This will draw cool air up and push warm down.
Turn on kitchen and bath fans
When you’re cooking up a storm or taking a hot shower after a long day, run your ventilation fans. Check the crawl space in your attic to ensure your fan is ventilating properly. If the moist air is blowing into your attic, you will run into other problems. On warmer days, you may also want to keep a window cracked in those rooms while you’re showering or cooking.
Opening your blinds, drapes, and curtains
Blinds, drapes, and curtains trap moist air close to your window and increase the buildup of window condensation. By keeping your window coverings open as much as possible, you’ll increase the air circulating around your windows.
Lowering the humidity control on your thermostat
Check the thermostat in your home and turn down the humidity control level. Many newer digital thermostats, like the Aprilaire offer a humidity control feature. Many homeowners overlook this easy ability to control the humidity in their home. If you haven’t checked your humidity levels recently, but notice window condensation, turning them down is an easy way to counteract moisture.
Install a dehumidifier
Lastly, if humidity and window condensation continue to be an issue in your home, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier. These units aren’t too expensive and really help decrease the moisture in your air before it becomes a further problem in your home.
Window condensation isn’t indicative of a window problem but it can become a nuisance. Use these tips to cut back on the extra moisture in your home and keep your windows dry all season long!
Get out the roll of tape, the hairdryer, and the shrink wrap. Is it time to wrap presents for the holidays? Nope! If you live in the Midwest, chances are you’re trying to fight drafty windows.
Many of our customers resort to the “tape and plastic” method when they attempt to stave off the blustery Wisconsin winter cold. Unfortunately, plastic and tape isn’t the best solution for drafty windows. It’s unsightly, renders your windows unopenable, and well, frankly it’s a big pain for a solution that’s not so effective. If you’re feeling the chill, here’s why you should consider window replacement to fix your drafty windows.
‘Tis The Season: Signs of Drafty Windows
How do you know if your windows are drafty? Besides the obvious “feel” of drafty windows, another sign that the seals are no longer working is the appearance of condensation in between the panes. Windows, being made of glass, are heat (and cold) conductors. Just because you don’t feel a strong draft from the window doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t an energy suck.
Do you need to put on an extra pair of socks when you’re watching a movie on the couch? Do you haul out your supply of blankets when the weather turns cold outside? Remember heat rises and cold air drops to the floor. If your feet are cold, that’s a good sign your windows aren’t working as well as they should.
For more signs of drafty windows, like sun damage, sealant and glazing changes, and faded trim, see our video below.
Drafty windows aren’t a problem limited to older homes. In fact, many homes built in the last few decades need window replacement as well. It’s not uncommon to see better windows in older homes because, well, frankly the craftsmanship was better. Nowadays we often see windows that need replacement after 10, and sometimes even 5 years!
With Weather Tight, you’ll rest easy after investing in new, energy efficient windows. Windows are an instant facelift for your home. Not only will you add curb appeal and improve the look of your house, but you’ll save money on energy bills and heating costs too. We stand behind our work, so there are no worries with Weather Tight.
Our replacement windows come with a non-prorated warranty for as long as you live in your home. We also offer a lifetime service guarantee while you own your house. Our unparalleled warranty protects your investment for years to come. No more drafty windows and high heating bills—just beautiful, easy-to-open, draft-free windows for your house or condo.
Does Putting Plastic on Your Windows Work?
The tried and true solution of putting sheets of plastic on your windows isn’t always the best answer to combat drafty windows. Even in the best of conditions, the plastic doesn’t seal airtight. The tape doesn’t stick well to the panes and may even damage your trim and sealant.
We mentioned the obvious drawbacks of plastic—which, all in all—makes plastic on your windows a solution that won’t combat drafts efficiently. Hauling out space heaters and piling on the blankets is no way to live. In fact, space heaters can even be dangerous! And cranking up the thermostat is simply costing you more money and not getting to the root of the problem.
Efficient thermal pane windows are a much better problem-solver when it comes to cold air in your home. Thermal pane windows don’t have large spaces between the panes like non-thermal older storm windows do. There’s no moisture build up between the panes and they won’t suck energy and heat out of your room. The most efficient windows are also filled with insulating Argon gas, which is 40% denser than air and keeps temperatures steady. Weather Tight windows are coated with up to eight layers of microscopic metals. This greatly helps with the regulation of temperature and makes the windows extremely efficient.
We recommend Weather Tight triple pane windows to most Wisconsin homeowners because they are the best suited for our climate. With multiple pieces of glass, these windows are highly efficient. They keep the heat in and the cold out all winter long. Our windows can be customized to fit and enhance the look of your home. Windows are also only as good as their install. With our installation team that is fully trained, we trust that your windows will be installed with no gaps, spaces, or places to allow that drafty breeze to come through.
Not to mention that new windows are beautiful. They’re easy to open and clean. When spring comes, you’ll be ready to let in the fresh air right away. You won’t need to spend another precious Saturday pulling the plastic back down and scraping tape off the trim.
Is Winter a Bad Time to Replace Windows?
Typically, when drafty windows are too much to bear, customers give us a call. But with unpredictable Wisconsin winter weather, the best time to call is long before you can see your breath in your living room. Unfortunately, we all procrastinate, so chances are when the weather was warm, you may have forgotten how much drafty windows affect your quality of life in the winter.
Not to worry though, window replacement can be done any time of year! Weather Tight installation techs work year-round to replace your windows. In fact, the process is relatively painless and is done quickly, room by room. You won’t end up with a hole in the wall overnight, waiting for the installer to come back tomorrow. We take every precaution, such as shutting doors and working on one window at a time, to ensure the process is painless and simple.
If you’re putting off window replacement, don’t wait! The best time for window replacement is now. You’ll add value to your home and start saving money on your energy bills right away—something everyone appreciates in the winter.
Drafty windows lower the temperature in your house significantly and raise your heating bill in the winter months. Every degree you turn down on your thermostat in the winter can save you 1% on your energy bill. That adds up quickly in the cold months, especially when drafty windows have you turning up the thermostat. By replacing drafty windows you’ll see real savings, fast.
Time and time again we’re told by homeowners how much new windows improve their quality of life, comfort, and happiness in their home. Windows are a great investment to increase your curb appeal, lower your energy bill, and make life easier (and warmer).
If you’re hauling blankets out of the closet, grabbing those extra socks, and wrestling with the plastic and tape, it’s time to give us a call! We’ll help you decide on a window replacement plan that fits your needs and your budget. We service residential and light commercial customers in 10 counties throughout Southern Wisconsin. If your windows are giving you a chill, we’ll help you find the best solution.