Weatherstripping for Sash Windows

What You'll Need
Replacement glass
Tape measure

Sash windows have been popular for over 300 years, and they retain the same basic design as the originals. You can remove modern sash windows easily, and you will find them easier to repair and maintain than older sash windows.

The most significant problems faced by sash windows are rattling, sticking and letting in draughts. The latter is a major problem for many homes, but you can weatherproof your windows to better protect your home from drafts. If you are feeling a little unsure about where to begin when weatherstripping your sash windows, here are a few guidelines to help you manage.

Step 1 - Assess the Window

The first thing that should be done when you begin sealing the sash windows is to make sure you see no obvious holes or damage to the masonry. Before you apply the tape, go around your windows and repair any damaged putty. Also replace any glass with chips or cracks. Remove any flaking paint from the area, and then thoroughly clean your windows. Cleaning will ensure the effectiveness of your new application.

Step 2 - Fit the Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping tape comes in a variety of colors and designs. You should look for one with an adhesive already applied, as this will make putting the weatherstripping on the windows much easier. You will need enough tape to cover both sides, the top and the bottom sash, the bottom of the lower sash, the top of the upper sash, and the rail which keeps contact between them. Cut the weatherstripping to the lengths required by carefully measuring the sashes and then applying these measurements to the tape.

Step 3 - Apply the Weatherstripping

Take your first piece of tape and remove the top 2 inches of backing paper from the adhesive side. Press the exposed adhesive firmly against the side you are applying it to and hold it for a few seconds. Take your hand away slowly to ensure that the weatherstripping is fully stuck to the sash. Then proceed to peel down the strip 2 inches at a time. As you peel, press the tape into the side of the sash. Repeat for the remaining tape. Covering all the sides and trim away any excess tape from the bottom of the sashes.

Step 4 - Finish

Check that your sashes still move freely in the rails and then leave your tape to dry. You may wish to paint your weatherstripping to match the rest of the sash, or you may choose to leave it so that you can find it easily and replace it when necessary.

You should remove your old weatherstripping every few years and replace with new tape. This is best done during the summer, so you do not have to face draughts without the weatherstripping being in place.