Wow. Weather stripping. So exciting. Replacing old, worn or damaged weather stripping, or putting it in where there hasn’t been any before, around outside doors will improve the climate control of your house. You’ll save money on energy bills. The heat and AC won’t have to run as constantly. Plus, it’s an easy DIY job you can handle.
Weather stripping which is fitting well helps fight drafts, leaks and temperature gain or loss. It can be used on doors and windows. As weather stripping wears it can lose its seal, fit poorly or have gaps that mean it’s not as effective and not really doing what it’s designed to do. Then, it’s time to get rid of the old stuff and replace it.
Start by making sure you’re buying the right product. You can take a strip of the old weather stripping to the store so you can match. Or, depending on why you’re replacing the old stuff, you make sure what not to get.
Newer doors that have weather stripping might have it in a groove in the casing of the door, so you might need to look in a groove to take it out.
Once you’re putting in the new stripping, it’s as simple as measuring right, cutting right and pressing the new strips in. Some doors might work with rolling, self-adhesive foam stripping.
Time to Do Something About Old Weather Stripping
Weather stripping wears over time simply because it’s being exposed to the weather and the wear and tear of being on a door for years. It ages, gets wet and gets damaged by people, pets, moving stuff in and out of the door, simply opening and closing the door, basically a whole bunch of stuff every day. You should check all the weather stripping around your house once a year or more often. You could even feel air or a temperature difference near a door and that’s a sign to check it.
Different types of weather stripping have positives and negatives. They wear in different ways, sometimes, too.
Self-adhesive tape stripping is made of foam. It sticks to a surface well initially and this makes it easy to install no matter your DIY skills. It sticks to start, but wears in time. So as it loses its adhesive strength, it’ll cause gaps or even fall off.
Rubber or vinyl weather stripping is effective for a fairly long time. It can become chipped, cracked and/or dry. These cracks and gaps mean it needs to be replaced.
Metal V-shaped stripping is durable, but still can need to be replaced in time. Metal strips can still be bent, warped or damaged by plain wear and tear. A missing nail can cause a gap and metal corners or edges near a high-traffic area can be an issue especially if kids are around.
Stripping with nails, screws or other hardware is a little longer and tougher to remove. If you’ve got adhesive or tape weather stripping, it’s likely just a matter of peeling the old stripping away.
Picking New Weather Stripping
There are a few options, each with pros and cons, at hardware or most regular big box-type stores. In general, if you go cheaper and easier, you’ll get the job done fine but probably have to do the job again sooner. If you get something more durable, the install might take a few more minutes, but it should stay in place longer.
- V-shaped – You might find this called tension-seal weather stripping. This is typically the best choice for using on side channels of a tight-fitting door or double-hung window. The V-shaped stripping springs to fit the gap or space very well on doors and windows.
- Peel and stick V-shaped – This is easier to install than regular v-shaped. Vinyl peel and stick stripping is inexpensive, but not the most durable. Copper or bronze peel and stick is a little more expensive, but is attached with nails or hardware along with being peel and stick, so it has better efficiency and longer lifespan.
- Adhesive foam – Foam tape stripping is inexpensive, easy to use and effective for most situations. For most doors and doorframes, this type installs and fits well. It can be used in window sills, too. The more traffic an area gets, the faster it’ll wear. It’s common to replace this kind of stripping about every 3-5 years.
- Rubber or vinyl gaskets – This is usually the best choice for large, irregular spaces, gaps or constructions. It’s used often with old doors or odd shapes. They are hollow tubes which can go practically flat while also filling a gap if there is a gap when a door or window is closed. Gaskets can be adhesive or need hardware. The price varies, but is still relatively inexpensive should this be the best, most specific option for your needs.
A little prep work will help the new stripping be more effective and last longer. When removing the old stripping, you might be able to simply peel or pry it away. You might wish to use adhesive cleaner and sand the surface a little to remove years of grime or any leftover tape. You might want to fill and sand nail or screw holes, then not reuse the same holes. Clean and dry the surface before putting on the new stripping.
- Pay attention to the weather. Some types need temperatures at 50 or more to be installed. It might be easier and better to pick a dry day to do the job.
- Measure twice, cut once.
- Cut and attach a small section of stripping to test it and test opening and closing the door or window, then go on with the rest of the installing.
- Be careful working with metal stripping. Cut it with the right tools. Do not leave a bent or frayed end, edge or corner.
- With v-shaped types, have the opening side face outside so moisture and wind do not get inside.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.