Problems with weather stripping cause more than just uncomfortable drafts – they usually end up costing the homeowner in higher energy bills as well. Learning how to inspect the weather stripping in the home can help to keep your budget on track and the temperature in your home feeling a lot more comfortable.
Inspecting Weather Stripping Around the Home
Friction, age and extreme weather can all damage the weather stripping around your doors and windows. After a while, they can become worn down or torn and lose their effectiveness. It is a good idea to inspect your weather stripping once a year to make sure it is all functioning well.
The weather stripping around doors is often in need of repair or replacement simply from normal wear and tear. Look for obvious gaps, rips, dents, and broken pieces in the stripping. You can also wait until the sun has gone down and have someone shine a flashlight around the edges of the door. Bright light seeping through indicates a problem with the weather stripping that might need to be repaired.
Weather stripping around windows can be inspected by holding a flame near the window casing. If the flame wavers, then air is coming in through a crack. You can also try to slide a piece of paper between the window and the window casing. If the paper slides in easily, then the weather stripping is not effective.
How to Repair Weather Stripping
Most weather stripping is simple to repair. Simply remove the old, damaged weather stripping and follow the directions on the new stripping package. If the new weather stripping is not self-adhesive, use silicone caulking or staples to secure it to the surface. You can also replace damaged sections of existing weather stripping instead of removing all of it.
Types of Weather Stripping
There are a few different types of weather stripping, including these three:
This common choice for weather stripping has adhesive on one side. The strip presses against both sides of a crack to effectively block drafts. It is a good choice for sliding windows and the top and sides of doors.
Felt is a low-cost material for weather stripping but it does not last as long as the plastic or vinyl choices. It requires glue or staples to attach. Felt works best around windows or doors that are used infrequently.
Door sweeps are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel with plastic, sponge, or felt brushes. They attach to the bottom of a swinging door to block air from passing underneath.
Keeping the weather stripping in tip top condition is an easy DIY project that should be done once a year. Don’t let money seep out of the gaps around your windows and doors – keep your seals tight to reduce your energy bill.
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