There’s nothing more refreshing than feeling the breeze running over your body. But it’s probably not as refreshing when it’s coming from the gap between your window & frame.
The gap is a horror show for your heating bill as it enables drafts to make way. So are there any solutions to these gaps?
Yes, there is. For one, you can go for temporary fixes such as plastic coverings, which are also more cost-efficient. However, it’s always better to eliminate the issue completely.
So, if you’re facing gap-induced cold air, keep reading this article. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide on fixing the window & frame gap. Let’s begin!
What Causes Gaps Between Window & Frame?
A gap between window and frame is usually the result of different expansion & contraction rates of various materials in different temperatures.
The frame material may be wood or vinyl that typically expands at a different rate or faster than the wood wall frame and exterior brick wall surface.
The expansion size also depends on the humidity or temperature of different days or seasons.
What Materials Are Needed For Closing Window & Frame Gaps?
Before starting with the gap closing project, it’s highly recommended to gather proper materials and tools to wrap up the task faster.
That said, although there are several materials required, here are some important materials needed for the project.
Silicone Caulk: This one is one of the most common materials used in fixing window caps. It can be purchased from any hardware store or even a grocery store. Silicone caulk is popular due to its moisture resistance, and many companies include better ingredients to make it extra resistant to ultraviolet. Additionally, it doesn’t dry or crack quickly, making it more useful and practical for closing gaps.
Backing Rod: If there’s a significantly huge gap, backing rods are also recommended to get a tighter seal. The material is known for its flexibility, making it easy to cut and handle during work. It can also reduce the required amount of silicone without compromising the state of the seal.
Other Items: Depending on the gap size and method you’re using, you’ll also need other materials and tools such as a putty knife, clear packing tape, measuring tape, utility knife, etc., required to help create a tight seal.
How Can You Close A Gap Between Windows When Closed?
Closing a window & frame gap is no easy task. Once you start with the project, you’ll have to follow the proper steps to ensure you get a tight seal. After all, it won’t be as cost-effective to keep doing it repeatedly.
So, here are 8 essential steps to follow in order to have your gap fixed.
Step 1: Clean The Area
The good thing is that there aren’t any complicated procedures you have to go through before fixing the gap. All that’s needed is cleaning the area properly.
Make sure to clear out any flaky or chipped paint to ensure the silicone caulking has a good connection to create a strong seal. If you want a smoother surface, you can also sand it, but be careful not to scratch your window.
Step 2: Place The Backing Rod
If your gap has enough room, try placing a backing rod after cleaning the area. Make sure you take enough time to measure the area correctly, and then insert the backing rod carefully.
A properly inserted backing rod will ensure you get a tight seal without being too dependent on the caulk.
Step 3: Apply Masking Tape
Apply masking tape on the surface before you start with the caulking. This helps protect the window & frame by preventing excessive caulking as only the required gap is left for the caulking.
Step 4: Get The Caulk Ready
With the surface clean and taped, it’s time to apply the main ingredient – the silicone caulking. Since the direction on applying the caulk varies with each brand, it’s highly suggested that you follow the proper instructions as per the item.
For instance, you may have to cut the caulk tip, or you may have to cut it and then attach the tip. If you are cutting the tip, we suggest comparing the tip with the gap to avoid cutting it too big.
Step 5: Load The Caulking Cartridge
Once the tip is cut, insert the cartridge inside the caulking gun. To place the caulk, pull the pressure rod and make room for the cartridge, and it will instantly fit. Gently squeeze the trigger a few times, and the gun will start pushing out the caulk.
Step 6: Apply The Caulk
Once the caulk cartridge is all set and placed, it’s time to apply the caulk on the gap. Start by placing the gun’s tip on the gap and start moving slowly from one end to the other. Make sure you don’t over-squeeze but put consistent pressure to create an even bead.
Too much pressure can create a large bead, which in turn creates a mess, while too little pressure may create a narrow bead, resulting in a weak seal.
Step 7: Neaten Up The Process
Most silicone caulking often comes with plastic spatulas, which you can easily shape or cut according to your bead size. You can then use the spatula to run over the bead to remove any excess silicone and clean up its appearance.
If you don’t have a plastic spatula, any regular spatula can be used to neaten up the messy parts.
Step 8: Remove The Masking Tape & Paint
With everything set in motion, you can remove the masking tape applied earlier. Make sure you remove it carefully and then allow the caulk to dry properly. The drying process normally depends on which brand you used. Hence, refer to the instructions to give sufficient drying time.
Once the gap is closed off, and the caulk is completely dried, you can finally wrap up the process by putting a fresh coat of paint over the surface.
There really is no place like home; hence, why should you (and your family) suffer at the hands of a few gaped windows? Especially when the procedure does not even require any fancy equipment or techniques.
It doesn’t take a genius to fix the gap between a window & frame. However, it’s essential to follow and utilize all the right tools & materials to ensure a long-lasting seal. And we hope you have learned just that through our step-by-step guide.