Before applying weatherstripping in an existing home, you will need to detect the air leaks and assess your ventilation needs to ensure adequate indoor air quality.
Choose a product for each specific location. Felt and open-cell foams tend to be inexpensive, susceptible to weather, visible, and inefficient at blocking airflow. However, the ease of applying these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas. Vinyl, which is slightly more expensive, holds up well and resists moisture. Metals (bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum) last for years and are affordable. Metal weatherstripping can also provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out of place.
You can use more than one type of weatherstripping to seal an irregularly shaped space. Also take durability into account when comparing costs. See table below for information about the common types of weatherstripping.
Weatherstripping supplies and techniques range from simple to the technical. Consult the instructions on the weatherstripping package.
Here are a few basic guidelines:
- Weatherstripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces in temperatures above 20°F (-7° C).
- Measure the area to be weatherstripped twice before making a cut.
- Apply weatherstripping snugly against both surfaces. The material should compress when the window or door is shut.
When weatherstripping doors:
- Choose the appropriate door sweeps and thresholds for the bottom of the doors.
- Weatherstrip the entire door jamb.
- Apply one continuous strip along each side.
- Make sure the weatherstripping meets tightly at the corners.
- 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.
For air sealing windows, apply weatherstripping between the sash and the frame. The weatherstripping shouldn't interfere with the operation of the window.