Weatherstripping.pdf | Door | Window

May 7, 2012 - 2:36pm

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Weatherstripping doors, operable windows, and other movable building components can save homeowners money by reducing utility bills. | Photo courtesy of ©

  Weatherstripping is an easy and cost-effective way to save money on energy costs and improve comfort by reducing drafts. Many homeowners install their own weatherstripping.


which is slightly more expensive. and inefficient at blocking airflow. weatherstripping could drag on carpet or erode as a result of foot traffic. holds up well and resists moisture. or out. CHOOSING WEATHERSTRIPPING Choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand the friction. visible. Metal weatherstripping can also provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out of place. See table below for information about the common types of weatherstripping. caulk is the appropriate material for filling cracks and gaps. when applied to a door bottom or threshold. For example. you will need to detect the air leaks and assess your ventilation needs to ensure adequate indoor air quality. stainless steel. Choose a product for each specific location. The weatherstripping you choose should seal well when the door or window is closed but allow it to open freely. Felt and open-cell foams tend to be inexpensive. sideways. copper. weather.up and down. Weatherstripping in a window sash must accommodate the sliding of panes -. Before applying weatherstripping in an existing home. and wear and tear associated with its location. Also take durability into account when comparing costs. You can use more than one type of weatherstripping to seal an irregularly shaped space. However. Vinyl. susceptible to weather. such as doors or operable windows. 2    . Metals (bronze. You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable building components. and aluminum) last for years and are affordable. the ease of applying these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas.HOW DOES IT WORK? Weatherstripping reduces air leakage by creating a tight seal between movable building components such as doors and operable windows and the building structure. temperature changes. For stationary components.

Can be difficult to install. aluminum. Extremely easy to install. Door or Low Easy to install. nailed. Low durability. Look of bronze works well for older homes. Best Uses Cost Advantages Disadvantages Surfaces must be flat and smooth for vinyl. Moderate. works well when compressed. Manufacturing process produces greenhouse gas emissions. Top and bottom of window sash. and stainless steel) shaped to bridge a gap. varies with material used.Weatherstripping Tension seal: Self-stick plastic (vinyl) folded along length in a Vshape or a springy bronze strip (also copper. visible. window stops. Bronze must be nailed in place (every three inches or so) so as not to bend or wrinkle. Durability varies with material used. Around a door or window (reinforced felt). Seals best if staples are parallel to length of the strip. fitted into a door jamb so the door presses against it. or EDPM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber. Moderately low Effective sealer. use where little wear is expected. Tape: Nonporous. All-wool felt is more durable and more expensive. Very visible. door frames. sold in rolls. invisible when in place. The shape of the material creates a seal by pressing against the sides of a crack to block drafts. attic hatches and inoperable windows. Can be reinforced with staples. very effective. inexpensive. Very visible. Can increase resistance in opening/closing doors or windows. Durable. bottom or top of window sash. Vinyl is fairly easy to install. and painted. as corners must be snug. closed-cell foam. Do not use where exposed to moisture or where there is friction or abrasion. glued. open-cell foam. Inside the track of a doublehung or sliding window. but not especially high for all. Can be difficult to install. must be sawed. Must be stapled. or tacked into place. Reinforced foam: Closed-cell foam attached to wood or metal strips. Felt: Plain or reinforced with a flexible metal strip. inexpensive. top and sides of door. Some manufacturers include extra strip for door striker plate. Good for blocking corners and irregular cracks. 3    . Selfadhesive vinyl available. least effective preventing airflow. Low. bottom of door. rigid. scored well in wind tests.

Selfadhesive on pliable vinyl may not adhere to metal. Can drag on carpet. Moderate to high. Visible. Reinforced silicone: On a doorjamb Tubular gasket attached to a metal strip that resembles reinforced tubular vinyl or a window stop. many types are adjustable for uneven Moderate to high. Visible. to cut metal. High Very effective air sealer. double-hung and sliding window channels. some types of rigid strip gaskets provide slot holes to adjust height. moderate cost.   4    . bottom of a door (rigid strip only). Installation can be tricky. low to Door or Rolled or reinforced vinyl: Pliable or rigid strip gasket (attached to wood or metal strips. Door or window presses against them to form a seal. Hacksaw required Seals well. Automatically retracting sweeps also available. Automatic sweeps are more expensive and can require a small pause once door is unlatched before retracting. top or bottom of window sash. or felt. of doors.Easy installation. Tubular rubber and vinyl: Vinyl or sponge rubber tubes with a flange along length to staple or tack into place. Bottom of Door sweep: Aluminum or stainless steel with brush of plastic. Comes in varying colors to help with visibility. Relatively easy to install. which reduce drag on carpet and increase durability. increasing durability. threshold. Low to moderate. Effective air barrier. vinyl.) window stops. Moderate to high. Self-stick versions challenging to install. bottom of exterior side of exteriorswinging door. sponge. Top and sides Magnetic: Works similarly to refrigerator gaskets. butting corners pose a challenge. Around a door. interior side of in-swinging door.

High. Can be difficult to install.Sheds rain on the Door shoe: Aluminum face attachment with vinyl C-shaped insert to protect under the door. add the perimeters of all windows and doors to be weatherstripped. Interlocking metal channels: Around door Enables sash to engage one another when closed perimeters. To be installed by a professional only. exterior. To seal space beneath door. "Frost-brake" threshold: Aluminum or other metal on exterior. Can be used with uneven opening. Measure the area to be weatherstripped twice before making a cut. Effective. sliding windows and sliding glass doors. then add 5% to 10% to accommodate any waste. Also consider that weatherstripping comes in varying depths and widths. Very durable. relatively expensive. To seal beneath a door. Wears from foot traffic. Moderately difficult to install. May require door bottom planing. Moderate to high. Here are a few basic guidelines:    Weatherstripping should be applied to clean. Combination threshold Bulb threshold: Vinyl and aluminum Door thresholds. and weatherstrip. The use of different materials means less cold transfer. Fairly expensive. Moderate to high. For aluminum Fin seal: Pile weatherstrip with plastic Mylar fin centered in pile. APPLYING WEATHERSTRIPPING To determine how much weatherstripping you will need. Exceptional weather seal. dry surfaces in temperatures above 20°F (-7° C). wood on interior. with door-bottom seam and vinyl threshold replacement. durable. Moderate to high. Very difficult to install as alignment is critical. Moderate to high. installation moderately difficult. The material should compress when the window or door is shut. Some door shoes have replaceable vinyl inserts. 5    . available in different heights. involves threshold replacement. Weatherstripping supplies and techniques range from simple to the technical. Consult the instructions on the weatherstripping package. Apply weatherstripping snugly against both surfaces.

When weatherstripping doors:      Choose the appropriate door sweeps and thresholds for the bottom of the doors. LEARN MORE      Tips: Sealing Air Leaks Air Sealing Your Home Air Sealing for New Home Construction Detecting Air Leaks Caulking External Resources Energy Efficiency in Remodeling: House Air Leakage -.Iowa Energy Center Weatherization Guide: Air Leakage -. For air sealing windows. Use a thickness that causes the weatherstripping to press tightly between the door and the door jamb when the door closes without making it difficult to shut. The weatherstripping shouldn't interfere with the operation of the window. apply weatherstripping between the sash and the frame. Apply one continuous strip along each side.Michigan Energy Options Find an Air Sealing Professional DOE Weatherization Assistance Program Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency Climate-Specific Resources for Energy-Efficient Homes Share on tweet RELATED ARTICLES Window Types Tips: Sealing Air Leaks 6    .NAHB Research Center Toolbase Services Home Sealing -. Insulation and Ventilation . Make sure the weatherstripping meets tightly at the corners.ENERGY STAR® Home Tightening. Weatherstrip the entire door jamb.

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