Homeowners can’t stand persistent rattling windows. They can also feel frustrated when they do not know what causes the noise or how they can fix it.
According to the window manufacturer Renewal by Andersen, loose glass or a loose frame are the two primary reasons for window rattling. Eliminating the annoying sound starts with determining what is causing either of those problems.
How to Fix Loose Glass to Stop Rattling Windows
When glass becomes loose within a window frame, the easiest way to obtain a tighter fit is to add more caulking. Caulking should go along the edges of windows. Here are some additional tips to place the caulking material correctly:
- Gather caulking material made from silicone, a putty knife, rag, and vinegar.
- Start the project by applying a small amount of caulking material to the putty knife and spread it to the corners where the window sash and glass meet. Homeowners should be certain to fill all cracks.
- Moisten a corner of the rag with vinegar and water and then use the rag to wipe away excess caulk from the windowsill.
Caulking takes approximately eight hours to dry, so homeowners should be certain not to allow anyone or anything to touch the windows during that time.
Rattling windows become more of a problem when homeowners have never sealed their windows. Replacing the window is usually the best option, although adding a layer of weather-stripping can resolve the problem in some cases. Either solution allows people to save money on heating and cooling costs because upgrading increases energy efficiency.
How to Add Weather-stripping to a Window Frame
To determine which area of the window shakes, homeowners should close it without locking it. Next, wipe the window frame clean with a damp and soapy cloth to remove bugs, dirt, and miscellaneous debris. Once homeowners are sure the window frame is clean, the next step is to measure the length and width of the window frame with the window open.
The next step is to add a six-inch linoleum strip on the right side of the window frame. The linoleum strip should go between the sash and the frame, and homeowners can secure it in place with a hammer. They should tap the hammer rather than swing it to avoid breaking the window, and then repeat the process for the left side of the window.
The last step involved with weatherstripping is to spray the linoleum strip with a silicone spray. Homeowners should raise and lower each window a few times to make sure that it glides well after placing the weatherstripping.
What to Do About Wood Rot
The wood surrounding a window can become rotted or warped due to ongoing exposure to rainwater. Window replacement is typically the best option when window parts contain more than 10 percent rot. Here are the steps to follow when replacing minor rotting wood damage:
- Gather a chisel, wood filler, wood hardener, putty knife, quarter-inch drill bit, fine and coarse sandpaper, painter’s tape, a thin paintbrush, small towel, and exterior wood paint.
- Pick up the chisel and start chipping away at the rotted or warped wood until uncovering non-affected wood. Homeowners should wipe away the debris they created from chiseling with a small towel.
- Drill holes into the wood approximately one inch apart and wipe away the dust. The holes will help the wood filler stick to the wood. After applying the first coat, wait until it dries and then apply a second coat.
- Apply wood filler using a putty knife and form it to match the shape of the window.
- Once the wood filler has dried, use a piece of coarse sandpaper before switching to the fine sandpaper to smoothen the surface.
- Match the paint color to the existing window frame after lining the frame with painter’s tape to protect it from drips. For the last step, paint the window frame using a thin paintbrush and allow the paint to dry.
When Replacing a Window is the Better Option
If none of these solutions reduce or eliminate rattling windows, homeowners can consider replacing the windows instead. Another indication it may be time to replace the windows are increasing energy bills despite several previous attempts to repair them.
Not only will the new windows improve overall energy efficiency of the home, but they can approve aesthetics as well. Homeowners should always choose a professional to install their new windows to ensure they fit securely and will last as long as possible.