Weather Proofing

So, before I begin with my weather-proofing tutorial, I have to admit that I thought everyone was pulling my leg over this one. It all started when I was telling a coworker how drafty our house was. It was built in the early 1900s and still has the original windows. While they certainly add a certain authenticity and charm, they also let in a ridiculous amount of frigid air. We had a particularly windy day last week and a gust of wind through the crack of the window in my home office blew papers across my desk. Um, yeah, that’s bad.

My coworker nonchalantly said, “Why don’t you just shrink wrap the windows?” I looked at her dumbly, but not wanting to show my natural Florida ignorance, I just mumbled a reply and walked away. I then called my mom and said, “My coworker just said the weirdest thing. She actually suggested that I shrink wrap the windows. Bizarre, no?” To which she replied, “Oh yeah, we used to do that in Virginia every winter. It works great.”

I can’t believe that we’d never even heard of this in passing. So, I sent the Irishman to Lowe’s and said, “Since everyone else seems to know about this, they should know what you’re talking about. I guess.” And they did. In fact, he came home with two different products.

The first was the shrink wrap.

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The second product was a weather strip that you use to cover slight gaps in the windows. Here’s the box.

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And here’s what it looks like covering the gaps in our windows.

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Grey was the only color they had, but if it was white, it would have looked seamless. As it stands, we didn’t really care what it looked like as long as it kept the cold air out. One thing to note about the weather striping, make sure that you put it on top of the gap and not in it. You’ll notice in the picture above, we needed to use a double strip of it for the first part of the window and a single piece for the second part.

Okay, back to the shrink wrap. This is how it works: First, clean the window sill very well. Then, apply a strip of the double sided tape around the edge of the window (or series of windows) that you want to seal. Next, put the clear material (which looks like Saran Wrap) over the window and trim it so that it’s hanging over the edge by a couple of inches.

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Don’t worry if it’s a little loose and wrinkly because the next step is hitting it with the blow dryer. But first, make sure that it’s securely stuck to the double sided tape.

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Here’s the Irishman using the blow dryer on the highest and hottest setting. We actually ran a single piece of plastic across all of the windows that you see because this was the room where the papers were being blown all over the place. Did I mention that the high yesterday was 35 degrees? While that’s significantly warmer than a lot of the U.S. right now, us Floridians are shivering in our boots!

Just a couple of users tips:

1. If the window/window sill is particularly cold, you may need to heat the tape with the hair dryer before applying the plastic, otherwise it won’t stick.

2. This process is a bit tedious, particularly the first time you try it, so be certain to have any children in a separate room while you’re doing it because certainly, expletives will be spoken with reckless abandon.

I’ll let you know what the results of this little “Welcome To Winter” experience are, but we’re pleased with it so far.

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