Winter weather can leave it’s mark on your home, especially if you haven’t prepared accordingly. A regular seasonal maintenance regimen will help keep your home protected from the elements, and is the best way to extend it’s longevity. Window maintenance should definitely be a part of your care routine; it is particularly important to make sure you prepare your windows in fall for the long winter months to come.

Fortifying your windows before the elements can cause damage may seem a little daunting, but with a little time and proper planning, it doesn’t have to be. In three simple steps, you can ensure your windows are ready for the wear and tear of harsh winter weather.

Begin with a complete inspection of your windows. Any cracks or broken glass should be repaired immediately. If you find extreme gaps in the windows, they may need to be replaced entirely. Rotten or decaying wood should be cleaned away and repaired. Severly rotted wood may require a professional to repair or replace the frame.

Check weatherstripping, looking especially for any areas where it is broken or worn thin. Replace any strips that need it, and make sure there are no gaps or spaces around the window that are not insulated.

Late fall is the ideal time to make sure your storm windows are on. While screens are great for letting summer winds flow freely, they offer little to no protection against harsh winter winds. Storm windows are made to withstand winter elements, and strong winter winds.

Besides ensuring your family is warm and cozy, keeping the cold out is also important to help protect your home. The first and best way to keep drafts out is to make sure your windows are locked. Caulk all necessary areas, and use insulation tape or foam where there are mild drafts or holes.

Condensation is another factor that you should consider. When warm, humid air comes into contact with cold, dry air it causes the windows to sweat, and eventually causes swelling. Keep the moisture in your home down by using a dehumidifier, or even just by opening the doors for a few minutes to let the house vent once a week. If you have exhaust fans, be sure to use them.

There are a few additional steps you can take inside, to maximize the performance of your windows, and keep your heating bill as low as possible.

Additional ways to help keep your heat inside, and the cold outside:

Winterizing your windows will help to keep your heating bill low throughout winter months, and will allow your family to enjoy a warm, comfortable home all season long.