Friday, November 9, 2012

The Trials of Window Plastic Weatherproofing

Sometimes, you do something and it seems to come out perfectly.  A few days later, though...

I obviously have a lot to learn.

See, I made a mistake with the shrink wrap I had used to weatherproof the windows.  What was perfect for a few days

Smooth, taut plastic

is now decidedly... not.  Oops.

limp, wrinkled plastic

Why, you ask?

Well... to be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure.  I'm new to this whole window sealing concept, having grown up in the desert.  I have a few theories, but I haven't yet been able to locate any information that would give me a concrete answer.

So what are the theories, then?

  • I didn't pull the plastic tight enough against the tape.
When you're short, attaching plastic to the top edges of a window sill is a bit of a challenge.  It's very possible that the film wasn't pulled tightly enough, and that effected how the plastic shrank.  Perhaps some areas were hit more evenly with the heat of the blow dryer than others.  Over time, the areas that didn't have the same coverage may have relaxed.

  • Improper seal
I know for an absolute fact that my seal isn't perfect.  Some air has gotten in at some point.  How do I know this?

ladybug crawling around between the plastic and the window

A little friend told me.

Weatherproofing this particular window was rather problematic for me.  For some reason or another, the tape was uncooperative, and didn't want to hold fast to the plastic.  I had to make several goes at it before the tape truly held.

As if that wasn't enough of a problem, somebody before me had taped the same window, and didn't properly remove their own tape at the end of the season.  The result?  That original tape still had some glue, evidently, and the plastic I used kept trying to adhere to that tape, instead.

  • Not enough shrinkage
My last thought is that I didn't shrink the film enough.  The only warning that the package of plastic film gives is that you need to be careful not to over shrink the film.  Over shrinking can cause the plastic to burst, because it becomes too tight.

It's possible, therefore, that I erred on the side of caution, and the error was too great.  If this is the case, it's an easy fix.  I'll only need to bring out the blow dryer and do a once-over.


I do know, at least, that the problem had nothing to do with dirt and dust.  I thoroughly cleaned the area that the tape was placed on, and allowed it to dry completely... so moisture isn't the cause, either.

As far as concrete answers for why this happened are concerned, though?  Yeah... I haven't found any.  Perhaps I'm using the wrong search terms.

The good news is that the window plastic is still working.  

It's disgustingly ugly, but it's holding, which means I'm conserving more energy than I would without having the window plastic in place.  That's the most important part.

I just wish it wasn't so ugly!

What do you think happened?  Might it have been one of these theories?  Perhaps something entirely different?

In our quest to go green, many times we stumble and fall.  That happens.  The important part, though, is that we pick ourselves up and try again.  That's the only way to learn.

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