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Ask the expert: Weatherizing windows with plastic

5:58 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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Jeff from Farmington Asks:

What is the best way to ensure that the plastic that one puts on the windows will remain in tact and reliable? Maybe a demonstration on putting the plastic up?

Tom Caron of Northeast Inspection Services Answers:

A demonstration is a good idea. I hope I can add some ideas that you don't already know.

--If your windows are old and leaky, try to seal them up first. This increases the efficiency and helps keep the plastic in place if there is a lot of air pressure on the building.

--Clean all of the surfaces the two sided tape will be applied to. If paint is old and loose, replace it.

--Apply the two sided tape. That stuff is really sticky so it should work well but if your paint is loose, it will come off with the tape when you remove the plastic in springtime.

--Cut your plastic at least six inches larger than the dimension of the taped area. Stick the plastic on the top edge of the taped area first, being careful to keep it from touching the lower tape runs. Grab the lower corners and slowly bring it into contact with the tape until it is attached.

--Use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic until it is taught. Do not trim the edges. Wait for the a breezy or windy time. Use an incense stick or some other object that emits smoke safely. Move it around the edges of the plastic. The wind should alternately push the plastic inward and pull it outward. Watch the smoke to see if it is influenced by the wind pressure.

--At the leakage points, apply a length of two side tape next to the previously installed tape. This should seal the opening adequately.
Remember, there are holes in your building that are much bigger than what will be left on that window cover.

--Now you can trim the edges. Use one of those cut off knives and lay it side ways so that you don't put cut lines on the trim paint.

I hope that helps.

This story was originally posted on November 17, 2008.

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