Properly inspecting your home's doors and windows can prevent costly, time-consuming repairs. Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows to ensure there are no drafts and make any necessary repairs right away.
Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty level: Beginner
1. Make a list of all the doors and windows in your home—it can be easy to forget some of them!
2. Start by inspecting the outside of the door—its moulding or trim, frame, gaskets, and weather stripping—for cracks or small holes that could allow air, water, or anything else to enter.
3. Bend down to check that the weather stripping on the bottom of the door is still secure. Use your hand to feel for drafts.
4. Do the same for every door: run your hand around the edge, about 5 to 10 cm away, to check for drafts. Another option is to hold a lit candle or lighter near the edges of the door—if the flame flickers or goes out, it’s because there is air coming in.
5. Stand back about 2 to 3 m, if possible, and look carefully around the edges of the door. Check for gaps as these are sometimes only visible from a distance.
6. See that the weather stripping is securely attached around the entire periphery.
7. Ensure the handle and lock are still firmly in place.
8. Grease the hinges if you hear squeaking or if it's becoming more difficult to open and close the door.
9. For doors with a window, make sure there are no scratches or cracks in the glass and it's still firmly set in place.
10. For doors with a guillotine window, make sure it opens and closes smoothly and check for any damage. Also, make sure the seal is intact to keep out insects, water, and pollution.
11. Start by inspecting the outside of the window—its moulding or trim, frame and gaskets—for cracks or small holes that could allow air, water, or anything else to enter.
12. Close the window and run your hand around the edge to feel for drafts. Or, as mentioned above, hold a lit candle or lighter near the edges of the window—if the flame flickers or goes out, there is air coming in.
13. Test the windows to make sure they still open easily.
For casement windows, test that the crank is in good working order.
For guillotine windows, check that they open and close smoothly and are securely in place when open.
For sliding windows, make sure there is no debris affecting the opening and spacers. Also make sure the latches still grip well.
14. Remove leaves and other organic material around your windows, if needed, and place them in a compostable bag.
Doors and windows
15. If you identify an insulation issue with any of your windows but can't replace them before winter, a good option may be to cover them with plastic. This can remain in place until the spring.
16. If there are numerous issues with insulation, and your windows and doors have started to fog up, replace them as soon possible, regardless of the season.
RenoAssistance can provide you with up to three quotes from Verified Contractors specializing in windows and doors, so fill out a request now!
To ensure your home remains energy-efficient throughout the winter, it's important that your windows and doors are well insulated.
Photo: Getty Images/Marina Gordejeva