Best Window Seal Tapes in 2023 – Review by Old House Journal
There are multiple reasons why someone would decide to try to further insulate their homes but it’s not always an easy clear-cut decision on how to do it.
First off, you might be renting an apartment and the landlord might not be too thrilled with the idea of major renovations. In this case, you have few options available and unless you want to go out of pocket for some pretty serious work, all of them need to be relatively temporary.
On the other hand, you might not be able to afford a lengthy and expensive process of insulating every draft-producing corner. So the solution needs to be budget-friendly.
And lastly, you might not have too much experience with Do It Yourself type projects around the house. So if you’ve got limited skill, and what’s more, limited tools at your disposal, you’ll want something quick and easy that doesn’t require a learning curve.
Window sealing tape fulfills all of these conditions in style. It is sturdy and adhesive but can always be removed come spring or summer, it’s cheap and it’s easy to apply, requiring only a bit of patience.
But first here are some other options you can consider if you’re looking for some cold-weather insulation.
Bubble wrap is a good window insulator that will definitely help with insulation but it has a few limitations. Firstly, it can only be used on windows you won’t need to actually see-through. While it still lets light in, you won’t be able to make out anything on the other side. Secondly, it’s not necessarily the most aesthetic option, so if you’re considering it, the best place to do it is in an area of your home that won’t be seen by guests. And lastly, this insulation method will only work for windows
A popular option, rope caulk is a putty-like substance that can be applied to the corners of windows easily to minimize drafts. It’s easy to apply and remove, although some are not satisfied with the level of insulation and just like the bubble wrap, it’s not very versatile as you can only use it on windows.
Magnetic Window Insulation
This is a good solution as it allows you to still easily open all of your windows during the winter if you so choose. However, if you’re renting, keep in mind that this involves putting down magnetic paint, so it might not be the best option for you. Otherwise, the process is simple. Once the magnetic paint is applied, all you need to do is the measure, cut the vinyl, and attach it to the paint.
What to Consider Before Buying Window Sealing Tape?
Before buying window sealing tape you should take the following into consideration.
What do you need it for?
Although window sealing tape is primarily used for windows, it has the added benefit of also being useful to seal cracks around an air conditioning unit as well as around doors. Make sure to have a clear scope of work in mind and assess how much tape you would need to cover everything.
Consider the removal process
Although most of these tapes are removable, some are more handily removed than others. The strong adhesive needed to properly insulate might make it more difficult to remove the material. Sometimes you might chip paint off, while other times you might be left with sticky residue left to clean. Some acetone should handle the problem without too much hassle, in that case.
How easy is it to work with?
Before deciding on a brand, consider the surface that you will need to cover. Some brands come in 1 inch, 1.5, or 2-inch width which can prove easier or harder to apply depending on the size of your window sill. This is because the high-power adhesive can make it complicated to repeatedly cut a wider piece of tape to the desired size.
How transparent is it?
A popular reason for choosing window sealing tape is the fact that it’s transparent. It’s discreet and won’t draw attention from guests, unlike some other budget options. But not all tapes are created equal. Thicker options can sometimes come across more milky than transparent, which may or may not be a problem, depending on where you’re using them.
How to Apply Window Sealing Tape?
Applying weather sealing tape is not a complicated task. In fact, the fact that it’s such a simple process is what draws many of us to it. However, there are a couple of pointers that you can keep in mind, for seamless application and a frustration-free experience.
Measure your area
Always make sure to be prepared with enough material when starting a project. Assess how much tape you will need and make sure to have it before you begin the process.
Clean your surface
Before applying make sure that you wipe down your surface with a damp cloth. Dust and other contaminants can affect the stickiness of the tape and therefore the effectiveness of the insulation.
Many tapes are pressure sensitive and pushing down will mean stronger adhesion. Keep this in mind as you’re working, as too much pressure can make it harder to remove down the line.