Weather stripping your home is the process of sealing openings between windows and doors to prevent the elements from entering through cracks. Along with blocking out an uncomfortable draft, weather stripping can also save you money on your energy bills by keeping the warm air inside and the cold air out, or vice versa.
When homes are built, they are held to standards that require attics, doorways, and windows to be weather sealed – but with the passage of time, these sealing strips can become worn down and eroded, so it is important to check each year for signs of aging or damage from the elements, friction, or pests. Familiarize yourself with your home’s weather stripping; read below to learn what to look for and how to replace the sealing.
Tubular Rubber - This type of weather stripping comes affixed to a piece of wood or metal to give it structure when in use. Rubber weather stripping can be used throughout the home, on the bottom, top, and sides of doors and around windows. Tubular rubber typically comes with a sticky adhesive back, and requires screws to hold it in place. If your rubber stripping appears to be drying out or cracking, it’s time for a replacement, as its effectiveness will continue to wane. The self-adhesive backing can lose its grip as well, causing the stripping to fall off of the door or window frame entirely.
V-Strip (Tension Seal) – This type of weather stripping literally forms a “V” shape. To use, the strip is simply squeezed, closed and wedged into the area that needs to be sealed. Once in place, the tension in the seal will cause the “V” to spring open, sealing the gap and preventing airflow. This stripping is typically used in sliding or double-hung windows and around doors. Check these seals to ensure that they still have tension and are filling in the desired gaps. V-Strips are also susceptible to cracking and losing shape with age, so keep material integrity in mind as well. Although V-Strips are usually more durable than rubber options, keep in mind they’re also significantly more difficult to replace when damaged.
Felt - Felt stripping is sold by the roll and contains a metal strip down the center for added support. You’ll need adhesive or a staple gun to install, as felt stripping doesn’t come with a self-adhesive strip. This type of weather stripping is initially appealing due to its inexpensive nature, but won’t stand the test of time, typically only withstanding a year or two of use before wear and tear sets in. We suggest using this type of sealing on doorjambs or window sashes. As with tubular rubber, it is important to check the adhesion of felt stripping each year to ensure it is still in place and preventing airflow between windows and doors.
Keep your home prepared for the change of season by maintaining your weather stripping before winter arrives. Like many home improvement projects, it is often cheaper to install weather stripping on your own, but if your windows or doors aren’t energy efficient, it will not insulate your home properly. To address the issue from it’s root and achieve the greatest return on your energy bills, browse our window and entry door options to allow you to be worry free for a lifetime, and you will never have to invest in weather stripping again!
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