Preparing for Winter

This is a cold house. The South facing front garden is completely covered by 2 tall trees, leaving the two front reception rooms cold all year round. We have lovely wooden windows, but they aren’t that great for keeping the heat in.

So today we spent some time adding foam strips to the edges of the windows, ready for when the weather starts to get worse. We can already notice a difference with a reduction in outdoor noise. Although I might miss the sound of the owls at night now, it’s worth the sacrifice for warmer nights.

One of the biggest cold spots is a window on the landing. It’s like walking past a block of ice when we go past it. So to see what’s causing this, we have taken off the plastic surround. Here’s what we uncovered:

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Not great. Daylight is clearly visible. There’s literally no evidence that anyone’s considered heat retention at all. They’ve just boxed it in to hide the mess and left it at that 😦

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There’s actually a lump of tissue paper up at the top!

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Perhaps the cowboy builder had a cold when they were installing it?!

I guess we were expecting to see something like this. But where do we go from here? We’re going to consult our trusty Haynes Victorian House manual to see the best solution. Expanding foam, sheep’s wool insulation, or something else?

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2 thoughts on “Preparing for Winter

  1. Suggest silicone inside and out, and lagging on the inside were the brick is exposed, don’t use expanding foam, you have to be very careful with that stuff, especially if your not experienced in its use….Mum x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would actually suggest expanding insulating foam based on the images you show. Use the expanding foam that is made for windows and doors only. It allows for less expansion and low pressure so as to minimize error. If you use regular expanding foam and use too much it will push into frames. You can have issues trying to open doors or windows. You can also bend frames and crack windows. You would have to use a lot of foam though to do that. Silicone will help seal and give a good air barrier but it doesn’t insulate in the same way expanding foam does. Moreover you have large gaps and that much silicone would be a lot. I would suggest using silicone on the exterior with the small gaps of daylight. It is best for moisture and weathering. It will seal the outside the best. Around windows you will get the most moisture, air, heat loss and heat gain. Insulation that is fibrous may get wet with direct contact to the outdoors and I can see there is no air barrier or vapour barrier in your walls as is the case with most older homes. The expanding foam will also adhere well to the brick. Check out some youtube videos on how to use expanding foam. It isn’t too hard with a little practice. Biggest suggestion though is make sure you wear gloves and make sure you don’t get anything on anything else. It sticks and is hard to get off thus why it its good for insulating awkward gaps. Best of luck.

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