From the perspective of bugs, those small holes, cracks, and gaps in doors and windows are the ultimate luxury entrances to your home. Whether it’s the bright and welcoming lights, the smell of sticky skin, or the alluring scent of home-cooked meals, there’s always a reason why insects would want to get in.
This is why knowing how to bug proof windows and doors is essential.
In order to do this, there are a handful of elements to take into account. Since we’re dealing with tiny pests, the little details like intact caulking, door sweeps, thresholds, etc., all make a huge difference.
Read on to learn all about how to bug proof windows and doors in your home in the most effective way possible!
1. Install the Necessary Features of Bug Proof Doors
Even if your exterior doors are in good shape, gaps under and around it can serve as an entry point for pests. On top of being in good condition and having a sealed design, bug proof doors should have the following features:
- A steel or aluminum threshold underneath the door;
- A door sweep as a secondary layer of protection; and
- Weatherstripping around the frame itself.
Let’s break down these elements one by one.
A. Steel or Aluminum Threshold
A steel or aluminum threshold should be installed under your exterior door. This provides protection from not only bugs but drafts and precipitation as well. While these door components are excellent for minimizing the gap under the door, a small gap may still be left behind. This is why a door sweep is also necessary.
B. Door Sweep
A high-quality door sweep is needed to completely seal the gap under your door. Choose a door sweep that works well with your chosen door threshold. Door sweeps can be flaps or bristles that are affixed to the bottom of the door itself.
Aside from keeping bugs away, door sweeps (in tandem with a door threshold) will improve the energy efficiency of your exterior door.
C. Weatherstripping Around the Door
So far, we’ve addressed the gap under the door, but what about the gaps on the side and top of the door? This is where exterior door weatherstripping comes in. Exterior door weatherstripping can be made of different materials like felt, vinyl, rubber, or foam. When installed properly, they create an effective seal around the door when it’s closed.
2. Get Bug Proof Windows Through Effective Sealing
The bare minimum of bug proof windows is that they need to be in good condition. On top of this, they need to be well-sealed. In the same way that doors need different components to create a good seal, so do windows.
Bug proof windows mainly need two things: (1) intact caulking around the frame and (2) good weatherstripping. These ensure that when the windows are closed, there are no gaps that bugs can enter through.
A. Intact Caulking
The silicone caulking around the window frame can crack over time. When this seal cracks, it can leave gaps through which bugs can crawl through. For this reason, it’s recommended for homeowners to inspect this part of the windows and perform any due maintenance.
B. Window Weatherstripping
Window weatherstripping can also crack or flatten with age. Similar to those for doors, weatherstripping for windows can be made of different materials like rubber, felt, and so on. All of these have a lifespan and are subject to wear and tear.
So if you’ve had your windows for a few years, check to see if the weatherstripping is still forming a tight seal when you close your windows. If not, these need to be replaced so that you can block yet another entry point for bugs.
The steps on how to replace weatherstripping for windows are also covered in our guide: How to Repair a Broken Seal on a Window.
3. Closely Monitor Decaying Wood
The biggest disadvantage of having wooden windows is that they are prone to warping, swelling, and decaying when exposed to moisture. In fact, it doesn’t even need to come from direct precipitation. Some wooden windows will swell because of high humidity. A swollen or warped wooden window frame or sash can be enough to create a gap even when the window is closed.
The end-stage of moisture damage on wooden windows is decay. This creates gaps or tunnels through which insects can burrow through. Take note that termites are not the only pests capable of taking advantage of this issue. Ants and cockroaches can burrow through decaying wood as well.
If you have wooden windows that are badly warped by moisture or have sustained decay, it’s time to look for high-quality (and preferably moisture-resistant) replacement windows.
4. Doors and Windows Need to Fully Close
No amount of weatherstripping or sealant will compensate for doors and windows that don’t close properly. This is usually a structural problem caused by warping or swelling, which tends to happen to wooden windows or doors.
If you would like to say goodbye to this moisture or humidity-induced issue once and for all, consider getting vinyl windows. As for doors, look into options like vinyl doors, steel doors, and fibreglass doors.
5. To Screen or Not to Screen
If you intend on opening your doors or windows for extended periods to let in some fresh air, the only way to keep bugs out during such times is to get a screen or install a dutch door.
You could consider getting windows screens and screen doors installed. On the other hand, you could also look into storm doors with a screen option.
Get Durable, Well-Sealed, and Energy-Efficient Windows & Doors
This wraps up our guide on how to bug proof windows and doors. As a final caveat, if your windows or exterior doors are badly damaged or have designs that leave large gaps, no amount of bug-proofing tactics can compensate for that. So if you’re looking for bug proof windows and doors, we‘ve got you covered!
For the past 41+ years, Clera Windows + Doors has been a trusted manufacturer of durable and energy-efficient doors and windows. Our energy-efficient windows and doors prevent the escape of conditioned or heated air. As a result, they are a top choice when it comes to bug proof windows and bug proof doors.
If you have further questions about how to bug proof windows and doors or would like to know about our replacement windows and doors, contact our team today!