GOT COLD FEET? – Homeowner Rx

My first house was an old two-story farmhouse. The windows were the old double-hung wood type. And they did not keep out the cold air at all! If you have the same problem of cold drafts coming in through your windows and giving you cold feet, here’s a few tricks that I learned on how to keep your tootsies warm!

The most popular way to seal up any type of leaky window is by putting a sheet of plastic on the inside that covers the whole window. You can nail the plastic up with cardboard or wood strips and wire nails, but the most popular way is to use a good weather strip tape. And we also have window kits that come with the plastic and double-sided tape. Makes it a very convenient and quick way to stop the cold.

When I put up plastic inside that old house, it stopped the draft all right, but the plastic surface was still cold. A customer of mine told me that I should also put up plastic on the outside of the window. He said that by doing that, I would create a dead air space that would be almost 8” deep and that would keep the inside plastic warm, which would also keep the room warmer. I did it and it worked well.

Then I noticed that on a few windows, the outside plastic would frost up. And on one window the inside plastic frosted up. The guys that fix storm windows in our repair shop set me right on that one. They told me that when the plastic on the outside frosted over, that meant that warm air was leaking past the inside plastic, and turning to frost once it came in contact with the cold sheet of outdoor plastic. And visa-versa when the cold air leaked in against the warm inner plastic, the inside frosted up. And if you have aluminum storm windows, the same inside/outside frosting over condition can happen to you too. There should be strips of pile weather strip around the aluminum frame. If it is missing or worn out, there may be air leaking one way or the other adding to your winter woes. That weather strip is replaceable. You can do it yourself or bring your worn out storm windows in to your local hardware store for repair.

Here’s some other tricks to keep your feet warm. If you don’t use your patio door in the winter, use a large, single piece of plastic to cover it just like the windows. If you feel a draft coming under your front door, you can replace the rubber seal on the threshold, you can put a rubber door sweep on the bottom of the storm door, or we even use cloth draft seals that wedges under your door. And don’t forget outlet and switch plate insulators. Thin pieces of foam that fit under your electrical plates on your outside walls. You would be amazed how much cold draft can come into your home right through your walls!

So if your old farmhouse is a little leaky around the edges, or your old aluminum storm windows need a little love, just stop on in to your local hardware store and we’ll fix you right up! Stay warm!

Dave is the owner of Umber’s Do it Best, which has been a family owned and operated since 1944. Whatever your project needs are, we can help. Stop in today at 2413 Lwr. Huntington Rd. Ft. Wayne, In 46809. Call (260) 747-3866.