Friday, January 23, 2009

Frost, Frost, Go Away!

The past few weeks have brought us exceptionally cold weather. Don't you feel cold just looking at my big blue words? Fortunately, my boys worked hard over the summer to build up our supply of wood, and our wood stove does a wonderful job of keeping most of the house warm.

But our Pella casement windows do their evil best to let in the winter. I think the color red is needed here to emphasize that the windows are from hell. I thought Pella windows were supposed to be good. The ones in this house have serious issues.

It's not just one or two windows. It's all of them. They all open just fine. But few of them close without someone going outside and pushing on the window. Then, even with the extra help, (and noteworthy cooperation of my boys) few of the windows close tightly.

The large sun room on the back of our house is the worst. We use it as the playroom for the boys, but keep the door to the room closed. Otherwise, our wood stove can't keep up with the cold air flow.

I've been reluctant to caulk the windows shut, like my husband would like to do, because caulking them seems so permanent. After all, there is a day (or two) between the hot summer and frigid winter where it is actually nice to open the windows. It has nothing to do (of course) with my frequent need to air out smoke while I'm cooking.

But, anyway. . . one morning, when I went into the sun room to put something away, I saw that almost every window was frosted completely over --so you couldn't even see out! I took a picture of this one because you could at least see through a little and tell it was a window I was photographing.

I guess with the last few weeks giving us the coldest spell I've ever felt, it was to be expected. But it pushed me into action.

I gathered my tape and scissors and went to work. I taped both the inside, and the outside, of each window, determined to stop the gush of air. I know packaging tape isn't meant for such extremes, but I was a mom on a mission.

I will tell you, though, that I used Frost King tape last year and it didn't last. It cracked and flaked, and what remained glued to the frame was a sticky nightmare to remove. A NIGHTMARE, I tell you!!!

If anyone out there knows of a better way to deal with our huge windows from hell until we can afford to replace them, (there are SIX 4'x5' windows) I'd appreciate your suggestions!

Anyway, the result?

For now, we have been able to leave the sun room door (to the rest of the house) open during the daytime without freezing our batooshes off. That's a good thing for two reasons.

First, my boys can now keep their toys in the play room AND play indoors without donning their snow pants.

And second, I can now sit at my computer next to the sun room without my teeth chattering and my hands glued to a cup of coffee.

Happy sigh.


Cheryl said...

Have you tried the sheets of plastic that you buy in hardware stores? They come in a box and you attach them to the window with double sided tape(provided) then you use a hair dryer to shrink wrap it to the window. We used them in Alaska and it definately kept out the draft!

Raise Them Up said...

Cheryl, I have thought of them, but haven't really looked for them for two reasons. I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that the sheets wouldn't come large enough. And second, with this being the boys play room and things sometimes getting wild and crazy (gasp), the chances of the plastic not getting torn or shredded are pretty slim. But maybe they are tougher than I'm thinking.

I'll look for them in Lowes and see what I find. Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

We saw your blog and wanted to let you know that we’re interested in learning more about the specifics to help address your concerns. Please e-mail us at, and provide your contact information, all available Pella® product information (i.e. where purchased, order numbers, any service completed, etc.) and any other pertinent facts. I will be work with you to help determine solutions for limiting condensation in your home.

We look forward to hearing from you soon to best assist you.


Randy Sedlock
Correspondence Specialist
Pella Corporation

Blue Castle said...

I have an old house with old windows, and mine look exactly like yours. I hate the idea of caulk too.

Raise Them Up said...

I grew up in an old farm house and my drafty bedroom window often looked like this. But that was thirty some years ago with single pane windows in a house that was built in the early 1900's.

This house is only 12 years old. And I'm afraid it isn't just condensation. The windows don't pull closed and lock like they are supposed to and that makes them huge energy leakers in both the summer and the winter.

I appreciate Randy Sedlock (Pella Correspondence Specialist) contacting me and we will look forward to any suggestions Pella makes. But I have to admit, I don't hold out much hope short of replacing them, and that is simply not in our budget right now.

Nonetheles, I'll keep you all posted with an update later.