The Muskoka winter is just about here. Even without it officially being winter, you can see that many areas have already experienced large amounts of snowfall and the weather has quickly become frigid. While you’re staying warm and dry inside your home, you might be wondering how the winter weather affects your windows and doors. The answer is probably a little more complicated than you might expect, and will be reliant on a number of factors including age, material, and the weather outside.
Condensation may form on windows
One of the most common problems experienced during the winter months is condensation building up on your windows. The formation of condensation generally occurs after there’s a significant change in temperature on either side of your windows – warm air is unable to escape through your windows and eventually loses its ability to hold water vapor, causing excess vapor to pool onto your windows.
Condensation isn’t always as bad of a problem as it seems, but can quickly become an annoyance for homeowners. You can reduce the amount of condensation on windows by using a dehumidifier, or using other methods to decrease the amount of humidity in your home. If excess condensation is building up on your windows, it’s likely that you have a leak in your windows and may require further inspection.
Materials can shrink and warp
Certain materials just don’t agree with the extreme weather experienced by many parts of the country. This is especially true of wooden doors and windows, which can be heavily affected by the temperature and humidity, causing it to shrink, warp, and bow. The best way to combat this is by regularly treating wood with sealer or paint, or to use aluminum and vinyl alternatives, which don’t experience such significant effects in extreme weather conditions.
Ice buildup can take place
During the winter months, ice can build up in gaps around your windows and doors, and can even cause your locks to seize up in extreme cases. Ice buildup can make it difficult to open and close your doors and windows, and can make it much more difficult to get into your own home. To avoid the buildup of ice around doors and windows, it’s recommended that you regularly maintain your weather stripping and ensure that it’s in good working order before the winter months arrive.
If your lock is seizing up due to the weather, you can use de-icing spray to thaw and release frozen locks, making it easier to escape the cold and preventing future problems. The presence of ice can also make it easier for hardware to fail, making it necessary that you clear your windows and doors of any buildup before operating your doors and windows.
You’ll really start to notice drafts
The most significant way that the winter weather can affect your doors and windows is by causing drafts and leaks in your home. While you might not notice the presence of drafts in your windows or doors during the summer months, you’ll definitely be feeling it when the weather dips below thirty degrees.
Drafts are typically caused by old or poorly fitted windows, and can be a serious issue during the frigid winter months, forcing you to turn up the heat and spend more on your heating bills. While drafts and leaks can be temporarily alleviated with things like weather stripping, it’s typically a sign that you need new windows.
Preparing for the winter weather
Most Canadians are expecting this winter to be a particularly cold one, so it’s probably a good idea that you start preparing for the winter weather before it’s too late. That means finally getting around to sealing any gaps around your doors and windows to minimize drafts and leaks, insulating your windows to stop the warm air from leaking outside, and tightening loose hinges and hardware to keep everything operating as intended.
If your windows are showing their age or have problems that simple maintenance just won’t solve, you might want to schedule a consultation with a professional window and door installer. A professional will inspect your doors and windows and lay out their recommendations, giving you an excellent opportunity to replace your windows and doors with energy efficient units that can keep your home warm all winter long, reduce utility bills, and ensure your comfort even in the most extreme conditions.
Muskoka Window & Door is the premier provider of energy efficient doors and windows in the Muskoka region. Our experienced team of window and door installation experts will meet with you to determine your needs and get to work on improving your home so you and your family can stay warm this winter season. To get started on your window or door replacement, contact the team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre today.