When you can successfully stop draughts around your windows and doors, you’ll see sizable energy savings. And, you won’t have to fend off those cold air currents by wearing an extra layer of clothing in the house or by cranking up your heat. But, before you try your hand at DIY draught proofing, there are a few common problems you need to know about.
Putting up some type of draught excluder yourself may seem like an easy fix. However, in practice:
- You may end up with a few unwanted side effects
- It’s almost impossible to achieve optimal results with DIY draught proofing
- Do-it-yourself solutions won’t offer permanent results
Even after all the effort and all the drawbacks, you’ll have to battle your draughts next season anyway, at least until you get a permanent solution.
Here’s what you need to know about DIY draught proofing so you can try and avoid some of these problems – and what you can do to experience the benefits of draught proofing your windows and doors with a sensible, cost-effective solution.
Problems with DIY Draught Proofing Windows
When you are sticking foam tape around your windows to stop draughts yourself, you may run into a pretty serious issue. You may not be able to operate your windows properly.
With windows, if the draught seal is too tight or too loose, you may not be able to open your window with the draught seal on. This is almost inevitable with timber windows because they are rarely perfectly smooth and even on their own. In a lot of cases, the joinery itself needs to be worked on in order to get great results from the draught proofing.
When your draught seal doesn't properly fit, here’s the problem. If you try to open the window to let in some fresh air, the draught seal will usually fall off.
On the other hand, if you keep your windows shut all winter, the tape can stick. When you finally force your windows open to remove the seal, it can peel off some of the timber joinery or paint with it, leaving you with even more small gaps and cracks for the draughts to come through next season.
Either way, you don’t have a long-term solution. Your DIY draught proofing will either last until you open the windows mid-season and it falls off or until you open them at the end of the season and you have to rip the foam tape off.
Ultimately, you’ll be back at square one.
Even if you use a different draught excluder for your windows, such as a strip that you tack into the frame, you'll still have the same issues if you can't get a perfect fit.
What a lot of homeowners don’t realise is that the window itself requires a more tailored draught proofing solution than you can really get with DIY products. Over time, your house settles, which causes your windows to slightly shift or twist. This is part of the reason you have gaps and those cold draughts in the first place.
Problems with DIY Draught Proofing Doors
With doors, you’ll run into similar issues. You can tack on a draught excluder or try to seal those open spaces with fabric draught stoppers to your heart’s content, but you probably aren’t getting all the openings sealed properly. And a lot of door draught excluders like brush seals and those plastic strips you can nail into the door are not attractive. You’ll ruin the aesthetics of your doors only to stop a fraction of the cold winds from coming in.
Just like with your timber windows, wooden doors tend to have either concave or convex areas all along the edges. So, when you nail in a flat draught excluder, you’re only getting a partial fix because there is still an opening. If you don’t measure it properly, you may end up with open spaces around your draught seal. This defeats the purpose of draught proofing because the draught is still coming in.
If it’s too tight, you’ll have trouble opening your door or you could scratch the floor or wear away at the space around your door every time you open and close the door. This can create nicks and gaps – and more draughts.
A Long-Term Solution for a Long-Term Draught Problem
Draughts aren’t a temporary issue. They are a permanent problem. So, you really need a permanent, effective solution for draught proofing and insulation. With draughts and poorly insulated windows and doors, you could be losing up to 70% of your heating and cooling costs.
Not only are you throwing away money in high energy bills that are not necessary with today’s technology, you’re also increasing your household’s carbon footprint and engaging in a constant battle against cold and hot weather in order to feel comfortable in your own home.
Having worked on windows and doors for decades, at Thermawood, we understand how important it is to have a system that works, and that lasts. Not for a season, or even for a few years, but for decades. That’s why we make it easy to draught proof your windows and your doors. With our retrofit double glazing system for timber windows and doors, we look at the unique needs of each room in your house, and for each window or door, and address it.
When we double glaze, we also machine draught seals directly into your windows or doors with our special tooling as standard. This way, everything is taken care of in one, cost-effective solution.
And, unlike DIY draught proofing, there are no neglected gaps when we are finished. No sticking adhesive foam. And no worries about your draught seals falling off. Just optimised draught proofing that you can enjoy for as long as you have your home.
To learn more, download our guide, The Ultimate Guide to Draught Sealing Windows and Doors.