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How To Replace Weather Stripping


Anytime is the right time to find out that you need to replace worn weather stripping.  Here we outline an easy way to see if your old weather stripping needs replacing and supply general instructions for installation. Weather Stripping can help in both heating and cooling cycles. If you had a big hole in the middle of your door, would you replace it?  And how do you feel about throwing dollar bills out of your windows?  The fact is that you would probably replace your door the minute you noticed the hole and people would think you had gone crazy if you were caught throwing money out of your windows.  But that is exactly what is happening when you don’t maintain and replace your weather stripping. 

How to Know When to Replace

Of course, you can tell if your windows need new weather stripping when cold, windy conditions make it obvious, but why wait until the coldest day of winter?  The next bright day, check for slivers of sunshine.  If you can see daylight, you have an air leak.  Here is another easy way to find out if you need to replace your weather stripping before frigid weather sets in:

  • First, get a helper.
  • With a handheld blow dryer turned on, go around the outer perimeter of the orifice.
  • From the other side of the door or window, have your helper make note of the areas that are not airtight.

Types of Weather Stripping

There are many different types of weather stripping and most can be used for either windows or doors.  Weather stripping usually comes in rolls of various lengths and thicknesses.  Here are some choices available to homeowners:

  • Pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed foam
  • Felt
  • Serrated metal
  • Tubular gasket

When choosing weather stripping, it’s important to consider where it will be applied.  Some types are not appropriate for areas where there is friction.  For example, weather stripping applied to a window sash must be appropriate for sliding panes.  If in doubt, take a piece of your old weather stripping to the home improvement store so you can get the same kind.

How to Install Weather Stripping

Some types of weather stripping is self-adhesive and other types must be nailed or screwed in place, but regardless, the method of installation is basically the same.

  • First, measure all the way around the aperture that you are working on.
  • Add a few inches and cut a one continuous strip from the roll if possible.
  • Apply weather stripping in appropriate manner with nails, screws, or adhesive.  Before applying self-adhesive strips, always clean the surface thoroughly with mild detergent and let it dry.

Most people find that they have at least some leaky areas around their windows and doors.  Installing new weather stripping is an easy and inexpensive way to seal the leaks.  Not only will your home stay warm and cozy, but you will save a bundle on your heating bill as well.

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