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Weather Stripping for Doors

Weatherstripping is a small but important part of keeping your home maintained. Used around doors and windows, it is instrumental in preventing air leaks, keeping energy bills manageable, and preventing weather from coming into the home. With a variety of options, whether adding or replacing, weatherstripping is an effective upgrade to your home.

What is a weatherstrip?

A weatherstrip is a strip of material used to seal the edges of doors and windows against the elements and air leaks. Common materials include foam, rubber, vinyl, aluminum, bronze, and plastic. Weatherstripping refers to the act of placing weatherstrips around your doors and windows to seal it against water leaking in and your heated or cooled air leaking out.

Why is it important?

Regardless of what type you choose, the basic role of the strip is to fill in or block gaps between the door itself and the frame around it. As houses and doors age, they can shift or warp, which causes the door and frame to not be perfectly aligned. When this happens, gaps form.

  • Rain can be driven by wind into these gaps, causing water damage inside the home.
  • Interior air, regulated by heaters or conditioners, will leak outside and be replaced by the opposite leaking inside and decreasing comfort level.
  • The inefficiency in heating/cooling drives up your energy bill.
What are some common types of weatherstrips?
  • Simple rolls of foam, felt, or rubber are applied easily using adhesive backing. Inexpensive and easy to install, this weatherstripping style lasts a few years before needing replacement. It can generally be installed around the entire door, including the top, the jamb and bottom.
  • A door sweep is a piece of metal like bronze or aluminum that holds a rubber, plastic, or vinyl piece that sweeps up against the gap between the bottom of the door and threshold. They should be fitted so the insert sweeps along the ground to create a thorough seal. Some door sweeps are simple adhesives, but sturdier, longer lasting door sweeps may need to be nailed in using finishing nails or specialized brads.
  • A cinch is a plastic model that cinches to the bottom of the door. Rubber or vinyl pieces then act as a door sweep, blocking the gap between door and threshold.
  • A V strip is a piece of metal or plastic in a horizontal V shape that uses tension to seal the gap between door and threshold.
  • Grooved or slotted gaskets can slide right into special grooves that are cut into the door, or the frame around it. This is more common on modern doors.
Who can install them?

Weatherstripping a home is generally not a complex task and can be performed by most homeowners.

  • Adhesive-backed weatherstripping is the most common and easiest to install. It is also the easiest to use for jambs or the top of the door frame.
  • Weatherstripping guides and videos can help determine what is needed and how to place them.

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