Mommy's Favorite Things: How to Maintain Your Windows and Doors to Ensure Longevity in Florida's Harsh Climate

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

How to Maintain Your Windows and Doors to Ensure Longevity in Florida's Harsh Climate


Florida's hot summer temperatures make quality windows important to your home. They keep your interior comfortable and save you money on high energy bills.

New and replacement windows should meet Florida's strict building codes. Contact your local government building-permit office for assistance.

Hurricanes start as tropical disturbances over warm ocean waters. Two ingredients are needed for them to grow into a storm:

Weather stripping

Your Florida window and door may keep drafts out by installing weather stripping around their edges. Your energy costs are also reduced as a result. According to studies, air leaks can contribute up to 30% of a home's energy expenditures. You may dramatically lower this number by adding weather stripping to your doors and windows.

There are four types of weather stripping: felt, foam tape, v-channel, and tension seals. Felt weather stripping lasts one or two years and is typically held in place with glue, staples, or tacks. Foam tape is inexpensive and easy to install, making it a popular choice among homeowners.

Reinforced foam connected to metal strips works well underneath doors, at the tops or bottoms of window sashes, and for door stops. This type of weather stripping is more durable than other options and holds up to harsh winter climates. Caulking is another option for reducing drafts and adding a watertight seal. Clean the surface where you will adhere to the new caulk before applying it.


With fall upon us and the season's cooler temperatures, a little extra attention to your windows will help prepare them for winter. A little sealant can fill in the cracks and crevices around your window frame to prevent drafts and keep cool air inside during Florida's winter.

Low E coating is another easy and affordable way to improve your windows' efficiency. This film cuts harmful sun rays that can cause damage to your furniture, quartz countertops, and paint in the home.

Many Florida homes and businesses need impact windows or hurricane shutters to protect against strong winds and debris. Some areas, like the high-velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ), require stronger impact products and shutters. If you aren't ready for impact windows, a premium storm safety solution such as plywood can also help safeguard your property. However, it is important to take precautions when using plywood and make sure it's properly fastened.

Window Treatments

Window treatments help keep cool air in during summer and hot air out, making it easier to lower energy bills. They also protect from harmful sun exposure, which can fade carpeting, furniture, and paint.

If you live in a hurricane zone, or a high-velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ), your windows and doors must be impact resistant. This is because hurricanes and other severe weather bring flying debris that can cause significant damage to standard windows.

While all Florida homeowners must follow the Florida Building Code, HVHZ zones require a higher impact rating. To ensure your windows and doors meet these strict standards, look for impact-resistant windows and clad frames. Additionally, your windows should have a Low E coating on the glass to reduce harmful UV rays and solar heat gain. This feature can be added to single-pane or multi-pane windows but only lasts up to 15 years.


Painting windows and doors is an important part of maintenance. It will aid in preventing air infiltration and water intrusion, which may help you save money on energy expenditures. It would be beneficial to paint your impact windows, outside trim, and other wooden parts of your home every six to eight years. It would help to use high-performing exterior acrylic latex paint to get the best results. Before you start, scrape away any mildew, caulk, fill, and sand rotted boards. If replacing your existing vinyl or aluminum impact windows and doors, choose a thermally broken aluminum frame to maximize energy efficiency. The layer of aluminum in between the vinyl helps prevent heat transfer, helping with U-values and keeping your home cooler during the summer.