Keep out the cold with Weather Stripping

There’s no mistake about it: winter has arrived. Any drafts around doors and windows that went unnoticed during fall are now downright uncomfortable – and they’re adding to your energy bills.

Weather stripping offers a relatively quick fix for drafty doors. To decide if a door leading out of your house needs new weather-stripping, look for daylight. If even a sliver of daylight remains visible between the door and its frame or the floor, add weather-stripping.

Next, close the door or window on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you’re losing energy.

There are a variety of weather-stripping materials available, each good for fitting different types of door and window frames. Most are made of rubber, foam, metal, vinyl or a combination of materials. To determine the right item for the job, check the area: if any old, worn material has been previously installed, take a sample to your local hardware store or an expert (like a contractor). if no material exists as a guide, make a detailed notes about the type of gap and how the door or window is installed – someone at the hardware store should be able to make a recommendation for you.

Once you have the proper materials for the job, consult any instructions on the weather-stripping package. Installation techniques can range from simple to technical, depending on the type of material being used. If replacing old, worn weather-stripping, be sure to note how it was installed as you remove it.

Here are a few basic guidelines:

  • Weather-stripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces in temperatures above 20 degrees farenheit.
  • Measure the area to be weather stripped twice before you cut anything.
  • Apply weather-stripping snugly against both surfaces. The material should compress when the window or door is closed.

When weather-stripping doors:

  • Choose the proper door sweeps and thresholds.
  • Weather strip the entire door jamb.
  • Apply one continuous strip along each side.
  • Make sure the weather-stripping meets tightly at the corners.
  • Use a thickness that causes the weather-stripping to tightly press between the door and the door jamb, without making it difficult to shut.

When weather-stripping windows:

  • Apply weather-stripping between the sash and frame.
  • The weather-stripping shouldn’t interfere with the operation of the window.

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