Snowball fights, ice skating and hot chocolate – winter has officially arrived. As great as these winter activities may be, the cold weather unfortunately has an undeniable impact on your home’s windows and doors. From swelling and warping to condensation and drafts, here are the most common windows and doors issues that you may experience due to the cold weather:
1. Shrinking and Warping
For certain materials, especially wood, both temperature and humidity can wreak havoc on their structural purity. Wooden window frames, doors and door frames can shrink in extreme cold, and in extreme humidity they can begin to warp or bow unfavourably. For this reason, wood must be frequently treated with paint or sealer. Since PVC and aluminum windows don’t experience this same degree of distortion, they are becoming a more and more popular choice.
2. Ice Formation
The main reason why weather stripping must be replaced so frequently is because ice tends to form in the open spaces between doors and windows and the frames they are installed in. When warm, moisture-rich air escapes through these small openings, it freezes on contact with the cold outside air. This can make it difficult to open a window without cracking the weather stripping, which in turn, will increase the buildup of ice. Again, this can also make windows and doors difficult to open and close.
3. Hardware Failure
Doors and windows include latches, handles, hinges and other mechanisms that make them work, and these can become easily damaged or jammed by ice or cold-weather stress. Casement and awning windows are particularly vulnerable as they require a more complex opening mechanism than their sliding counterparts.
The tricky thing about condensation is it’s not always as bad as it appears to be. In fact, condensation on your window during the winter months is often a sign that your windows have a good level of energy efficiency. It occurs because the warm and humid air in your home is unable to escape through your windows which is exactly what you want from a good window. To reduce the appearance of condensation, just simply reduce the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier, turning on the fan in your bathroom and properly venting your home. If you find condensation developing between the panes of a double- or triple-paned window, then you likely have a leak and should call a Dayside expert right away to inspect.
Windows and doors that are old, poorly fitted or poorly insulated are a major cause of drafts in most homes. Installing weather stripping can help, but in many cases a new door or window may be absolutely necessary.
Now that you know what issues to be on the look out for, you can keep your windows beautiful, structurally sound and efficient no matter what the winter weather throws at them. And when you do need a replacement window or expert recommendations on how to protect your window investment, you can trust the professional team at Dayside Windows and Doors.