Unless your windows are older, they have window gaskets in them. However, if they’re older and do have gaskets in them, they might need to be replaced. A window gasket, also referred to as a window seal or weatherstripping, is an insert in your windows to prevent outside temperatures from seeping into your home. This keeps the inside of your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which is how it should be.
Even further, the window seal prevents things like moisture or humidity from seeping into the separate panes of glass in your window—assuming it has more than one. If your window is foggy, hazy, or presenting condensation in between the two panes, the seal in your window has most likely failed. This can cause the glass to distort, leak air and water, or eventually break.
Window gaskets are important for keeping your indoors at the right temperature, keeping moisture, pests, and air out, and maintaining the structure of the window itself. They ensure you are comfortable in your home, but they also save you money. Since the window gasket is keeping air and water leaks out of your home, you won’t have to worry about running your A/C or heat overtime to supplement. Plus, without water leaking in, mold won’t be an issue. You won’t have to spend time or money cleaning or preventing the mold, leaving you with the peace of mind you should have.
How Does a Window Gasket Fail?
- Harsh Weather: Natural weathering occurs to every portion of your home’s exterior, and your windows are no exception. Rain, excessive or sudden heat or colder weather, snow, hail, etc., are all factors in the weathering of your home’s exterior. As a result of these natural elements, a window gasket may fail over time.
- Lack of Window Maintenance: Without proper window maintenance, your window gasket will slowly fail. Cleaning, inspecting, and other basic maintenance is important to the overall health of your windows, and can prevent your window from failing.To avoid the need to replace your window gasket, perform regular maintenance.
- Faulty Installation: Fitting your window gasket properly is important for many reasons. Without the proper know-how, you could be setting up your windows for failure. Water leakage, mold, drafts, cracks, can all result from improper weatherstripping. We recommend doing your research and hiring experts to prevent any potential damage.
- Mold: Moisture and humidity in one place over time can lead to mold and mildew. If your window gasket is not installed properly or is in need of replacing, you might experience mold around those areas in your window. This can be dangerous to your health and the overall integrity of the window. Mold is a tell-tale sign that your window gaskets have failed.
- Old Windows: Over time, the combination of these can eventually lead to the failure of the window gasket. Depending on the age of your windows, your gasket could be slowly failing. Look for condensation, cracks, mold, and other signs that you might need to replace your windows to get ahead of the problem.
What Do I Do If IT FailS?
If you find that a window gasket has failed, there are two solutions we recommend: a window gasket repair, or a full replacement. Both solutions require an expert to assess the situation and guide you in the process.
- Full Window Replacement: Removing and replacing your windows is a big deal. But so is living with drafty, leaking, mold-prone windows, which is what you’ll get if your gasket fails. Though you could try to replace your windows yourself, this process is meticulous. The window replacement process involves removing the old window, measuring the area, purchasing a new window at the correct size, installing the window gasket, frame, sashes, etc., caulking, and painting/staining. With proper skills and/or training, this could be done, but it is not the recommended way to remove and replace your window. Hiring a trusted, local window expert to assess the situation, offer various styles, colors, and functions, and ultimately get the job done in the safest way possible ensures long-lasting, beautiful windows. An expert window installer is prepared for any glass breakage, unanticipated damage, and can complete the project quickly and effectively.
- Window Gasket Repair: Though window removal and replacement will likely be your ultimate choice, there is also an option for repair. Wet seal repair involves inserting new sealant behind the window gasket. While this may seem simple, the technology in your new sealant should match your existing window gasket to ensure a perfect fit. To make sure it’s a match, we recommend contacting the manufacturer of the original window. From there, depending on the integrity of the window, you would be able to install the new seal yourself. If it’s not a match, you will have to strip the old sealant out of your window and replace it with new sealant. This approach only addresses half of the problem, unfortunately. Attempting to repair the gasket itself requires full knowledge on the state of the gasket, and ultimately is a short-term fix. You will not solve the root of the problem with this repair, but it can be done in a pinch while you wait for a full window replacement.
Window Gasket Recap
Window gaskets are important for keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient. They prevent air and water from leaking into your home, and they help to keep your windows from fogging up.
A window gasket can fail for a number of reasons, including:
- Harsh weather
- Lack of maintenance
- Faulty installation
- Old age
If you find that your window gasket has failed, you can either replace the entire window or repair the gasket through wet seal repair. Replacing the entire window is a more involved process, but it will provide you with a new, energy-efficient window. Repairing the gaskets is a less expensive option, but it may not be as effective as replacing the entire window.
If you are concerned about the condition of your windows, you should have them inspected by a window expert. They can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action for your home.
WINDOW replacement NEAR YOU
If you’re looking for a window replacement expert to help you assess the state of your window gaskets, give West Shore Home® a call. We specialize in window replacement, removal, and renovation, and can recommend the best solution for your situation. Our trained design and installation team would love to help you find the best windows to keep harsh weather and natural elements out of your home.