There is an ideal time to replace windows—though you can make due at any time if you must.
The best time to plan your window installation would be the spring.
Not just for the obvious reasons that the weather is better, there are little-known reasons that make winter window installation harder in cold weather.
Here is a breakdown of your year’s best and worst times for window installation—whether you’re DIYing or hiring a contractor.
Lean Towards Warmer Weather Installations
Warmer weather is better than cooler for window installations.
No chilly drafts and you won’t have to worry as much about cool or warm air escaping out the window. Save that money for the window installation.
The caulk (the gooey stuff that seals your windows) sticks and solidifies a lot better in warmer weather too. But caulk won’t set properly in hot (80-100 degree Fahrenheit) weather either.
True, latex caulk can usually be applied in 40-80 degree Fahrenheit, and silicone caulk can be applied in even colder weather.
Even still, latex caulk is easier to manage on the warmer end of the spectrum. And even if the silicone does work in colder weather, there is a longer process of warming it up before you apply to windows for the caulk to go on smoothly.
The ultimate warmer-to-fair-weather installation argument is the movement of the substrate.
Many window materials, such as aluminum and vinyl, expand and contract according to the weather. (Expand in heat, contract in cold). This means that if your contractor is installing in cold weather, the caulk could break apart when the materials expand in the heat later.
Your contractor most likely knows these differences, but it’s always good to get reassurance from them for your window installation.
What To Do If You Must Install In Cooler-To-Cold Weather
While it may be less ideal, cold-weather installation is possible. Simply make sure you, or your contractor, take a few precautions.
- Use a silicone caulk. Silicone caulk adheres much better in cold temperatures. It’s also more weather-efficient, keeping your windows sealed better through the seasons.
- Use a caulk with +/-25% movement when installing in colder weather. This will allow for more movement capability as the weather changes.
- Schedule the job for a warmer day around noon if possible. Avoid rainy day installations. The caulk must set before it’s exposed to water.
- Work on one window at a time (or panel if it’s a large window). Especially in the middle of winter, it can get super cold in your home very fast which can waste a lot of your energy bills. Most of the time, your contractor will cover openings with tarps to help keep cold air out. But you may have to ask them to minimize the cold air flow.
Preparing For Your Window Installation
As with any contractor, you’ll want to prepare the area before they come over.
- Clean the area around the window. Makes the contractor’s job easier and keeps your stuff clean from dust and dirt.
- Try to keep the path to and around your window clear of debris no matter the season.
- Clean the window seal of dust and dirt so that the caulk goes on smooth. Remove curtains and blinds. If you have security sensors on your window, deactivate them before the contractor begins work (remember to reactivate when the job is done).
- Use tarps or plastic sheets to keep your carpet clean.
- Keeps pets and children out of the area. Contractors are hard at work and often work with heavy equipment. Keep the little ones out from under foot.
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