The start of March marks the time of year when the southeast is transitioning from winter to spring. Temperatures slowly inch upwards and there’s a lot more hours of sunshine to enjoy. It’s the perfect time to throw the windows open and let some fresh air inside.
But hold on one second. After months of being closed up, your windows may need a little TLC. There’s also a good chance insects are waiting for an opportunity to find their way through the window, so they can check things out inside.
Keep your home comfortable and free of pests with this quick spring inspection guide for your windows.
Inspecting the Mechanisms
Some windows slide open while others lift open or swing out using a crank. The first place to begin your inspection is visually checking the window mechanisms to make sure everything is working properly.
- After looking for signs of damage, open and close the window a few times. They should be able to open and close smoothly with minimal effort. Note whether there is any sticking, obstructions, or if the window just won’t budge.
- Look around the tracks (if it slides) to see if any debris or gunk is making it difficult to open and close the window.
- Check around the frame on both the interior and exterior. If there is damage to the frame, this could cause issues with the functioning of the windows.
- Don’t forget to test the locks. They should latch and unlatch with ease. If any locks or latches are broken, they need to be fixed ASAP.
Carefully Look Around the Frame of the Window
As mentioned above, the frame of the window can affect how easily the window opens and closes. But that’s not the only possible problem connected to the frame.
On the exterior of the home, check between the frame and the wall to look for holes that may have formed. If there are holes and gaps, this can give insects an access point into your home. It can also allow water to leak inside and damage the walls. You’ll need to determine the cause of the problem, check for moisture and fix the holes right away to avoid further damage.
Gaps around the frame can also leak air in and out of the home, which can significantly add to your heating and cooling bills. You can look and feel for these gaps from the inside and outside of the home. Look for light coming through around the edge of the frame. Another way to test for air leaks is to hold your hand up to the edge of the frame to feel for cool or hot air.
The best way to find even small gaps that may go unnoticed is to wait to test the windows on a windy day by doing the following:
- Turn off your AC or HVAC unit
- Make sure all the doors and windows are shut
- Turn on the vents and bathroom fans
- Light a match of incense and hold it up to the window frame
- If the smoke is sucked out, there’s an air leak nearby
Checking the Screens
Keeping the windows wide open without inviting insects in requires the use of screens. But even the smallest tear is enough for bugs to get through. Another problem to look out for is bent frames. If the frame of the screen is even slightly bent it won’t sit flush with the window.
Checking the Glass
Are there signs of moisture or cracks in the glass? Being that it’s one of the main components, any damage to the glass is cause for concern even if it’s a small crack.
If you have double pane windows, it is possible for moisture to get in between the panes. If there are droplets of water in between the panes or the glass has fogged up, this is definitely an issue worth inspecting. Check the seal for breaks since this is the cause for leaks between the panes. Another trick used by inspectors is to rub a piece of ice against the glass until fog forms. If you can rub the fog off, then the seal is good, but if the fog can’t be rubbed off that means it’s on the inside and the seal is broken.
When to Consider Replacing Your Windows
During an up-close inspection, you may have noticed that a lot of heat and/or cold is penetrating the windows. This is often the case with older single-pane windows. Double-pane windows are much more energy efficient and may be eligible for rebates that offset the installation cost.
Of course, if the glass is cracked or broken, it will need to be replaced. Not only can it reduce energy efficiency, cracked glass can also pose a safety risk.
If your windows are in perfect working condition but you’ve noticed more bugs venturing into your Birmingham home, give the experts at Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. a call. We can inspect the interior and exterior of your home to determine how insects could be getting into the house. Once we’ve assessed your needs we’ll create a custom pest control treatment plan to make this spring less buggy and more comfortable.