The Cross House

Sealing Up Windows

The Cross House has 4,738 windows.

OK. Maybe not that many. But there are a lot. I get scared when I try and count how many, so my solution is to never finish counting.

Wind freely blows into the house because the sashes are so loose in the frames. I could laboriously install bronze weather-stripping but wind would still get in, and my plan is to make the Cross House as tight as possible. Making the house TIGHT will prove far more important in terms of heating/cooling than storm windows or fully insulating all the walls.

My solution is to seal the windows shut with a peel-away type of caulk. This is something you squirt in, and can later just peel it off. Genius.

However…I have long used the Red Devil brand of peel-way caulk and hate hate hate it. It is like like trying to push almost solid glue out of a caulk dispenser. Once the “glue” is out, you can’t smooth it, so you get this gloppy string line alone the edges of all your windows. Oh, the horror! The horror!

Recently, I found another brand. By DAP. OMG! OMG! The stuff is a wonder! A glory! A miracle! It comes out of the caulk gun with NO effort, and can easily smoothed to a degree guaranteed to delight anybody with full-blown OCD.


The new love of my life. I know we will be very happy together!


My ex. The divorce has been bitter. I hope to never see Zip again.


The tower windows. They look brand new. They SO did not when I purchased the house, and I previously wrote about these five Windows From Hell:
The five windows at the top of the tower. They are all now restored and in place. Whoee! But wind freely blows through them, and I have found snow on the floor in winter.


But no more! There is no NO wind. AND, the room is much quieter! The house abuts Highway 50, and I was surprised by the deadening sound effect of sealing the windows. The caulk will dry clear. NOTE: The caulk does not come out of the tube so neatly. I just happen to have an unusual talent with a putty knife. I know, a weird gift.


While I can later peel the caulk away, I will never likely do so. The windows are now tight, and I am happy that they remain forever so.

Now I just have 4,733 more windows to do.


12 Responses to Sealing Up Windows

  1. That stuff looks great! I really like DAP, and use it all the time. There was a sale on Red Devil regular caulk, so I got some. Really don’t like it.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Is there anything else you can do to shrink the gap between the sashes and the frames, or are you stuck caulking them shut every year from now until the end of time?

    • I plan to seal 98% of the windows in the house as such. And they will remain sealed.

      A few will have good bronze weather-stripping installed so they can be opened spring/fall.

  3. I finally found the Peel & Seal. Had bought Seasonseal and that stuff is a disaster. So drippy & the fumes! P&S should really help keep those western winds whipping across the fields at bay.

    & ditto what Californianinkansas says…

  4. I didn’t know that was out there. I’ll check it out. I’ve been been using rope caulk in mine. How big a PITA is it to remove? We don’t have AC so all the windows have to be openable. I envy your caulking skill. My beads all look like I was having a grand mal seizure while caulking.

  5. Feeling a little dumb at the moment. I’ve known that this stuff exists. I read this post and thought wonderful things about this caulk. I daydreamed about owning my own Victorian farmhouse with all original windows and that this is how I would winterize them.
    And just now. Just now, with the sudden arrival of winter howling outside, I finally had the brain wave to actually go purchase this stuff and use it to seal up my 1971 loose-pane windows. Some of the windows have plastic storm windows that go on the inside, but two bedroom windows now have blinds that sit within the frame, so the storm windows don’t fit anymore. So I’m just going to wedge the windows tight and use this caulk to seal up all the edges. Hopefully that will stop the cold drafts!

  6. Speaking of tightening up your house, what are you planning to do about all those fireplaces? I don’t think most coal fireplaces had dampers (which is why they invented summer covers for them). Your covers all have holes in them so they aren’t summer covers.

  7. I’m glad to see you found the DAP Seal and Peel! I’ve used this stuff for YEARS! I tried a couple other brands. Not only is it difficult coming out of the tube but when you TRY to remove it? Good luck! Prior to replacing most of the windows here, I sealed everything, every fall and removed it every spring. The DAP comes off a dream. One of the other brands I used seemed like it never cured and in the spring I was there scraping every inch of gooey crap off my windows. The only place I can find that carries it here in NW Indiana is Home Depot. Menards used to have it and now no more! WTH? I hate when stores do that!!!

  8. I was about to buy this, then I noticed many of the recent online reviews are very negative. The reviewers say that DAP Seal and Peel has a new formula and is now almost impossible to remove.

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