When most people think of using weatherstrip, they think of it as a way of keeping the cold out; that it’s all part of winterizing their home. The only problem is, since they think of it as a winter related thing, they don’t usually address the issue until winter. Then it’s cold out and who wants to work on their doorway or windows in the winter?
Maybe the term weatherizing is more appropriate. Doesn’t it make more sense to test for leaks and address them now, while the weather is warmer? Weatherstripping can yield significant energy savings in the summer. Adhesives will stick much better and if necessary, it will be easier to use a ladder in the nice weather.
Testing for leaks is simple. Volunteer somebody if you can, it’ll make things easier. Grab an extension cord and a hairdryer and head outside. Close the appropriate window or door and run the hairdryer from outside, along all of the seams. Have your volunteer check from inside for any hot air making its way through. If leaks are found, take note and move on to the next area.
Little gaps can add up. Do the math: a ¼ inch gap along the bottom of a 36 inch door (36 x .25 inch) equals nine square inches of opening. Would you find a 9 square inch hole in the side of your wall acceptable? Imagine a hole like that in January!
That’s when weatherstripping is your friend. It’s probably the least expensive and easiest solution for cutting down on wasted energy in both winter and summer.
Most modern doors and windows come with some type of weatherstrip already built in. That leaves the millions of homes that have older style doors and windows still in use.
There are many types of weatherstripping to choose from. Each has its own specific strengths and uses. The type of door or window material and its location determine which your best choice is. While deciding for your particular application, consider these things:
- How much wear and tear will the weatherstrip need to withstand? Door sweeps and thresholds will fall into this group.
- How big is the gap you need to fill? Certain types of weatherstrip are meant for specific sized gaps.
- What type of surface will the weatherstripping need to adhere to? An adhesive may work better than a nail when applying over vinyl or metal, for example.
- What is your skill level? Some types of weatherstrip may be specifically suited for novice installers.
Types of weatherstrip vary. Depending on your specific needs, you can choose from:
- Self-sticking foam
- Tubular rubber
- Foam rubber with a wood backing
- Door sweeps
- Vinyl “bulb” thresholds
- Magnetic strip
As you can see, the choices are many. That’s where we come in. Identify where you need to install your weatherstrip and come in to see our expert staff. We’ll be happy to explore which type will work best for your situation.
One final thought concerning weatherstripping in the summer: Remember that 9 inch hole? That’s an open invitation to insects and pests to come in for a visit. Kind of makes a little weatherstripping sound like a good idea, doesn’t it?