As you might know, weather stripping seals your windows and doors against air leakage. This keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But no matter what material it’s made of, weather stripping does deteriorate with age. It will no longer provide that secure, airtight seal. Check it regularly and replace it when it is ineffective!
The following are the major types of weather stripping and how they age:
FOAM TAPE: The tape is self-adhesive. Not only can the adhesive break down, but the foam also will lose springiness and will not seal well.
RUBBER: Sunlight and weather will cause rubber to dry, become brittle and crack. If it was the self-adhesive variety, it may start to peel off.
VINYL: Sunlight and inclement weather also cause vinyl weather stripping to harden, splinter and fail.
METAL: Springy metal weather stripping that’s V-shaped will bend, crack and work lose. With time and use, the spring will compress and not have a good seal.
Here is how to replace your worn-out weather stripping:
REMOVE: Foam, rubber and vinyl self-adhesive weather stripping should pull off. You might need to scrape any residue left behind. Lightly sand, if necessary. If the weather stripping is nailed, screwed or stapled in place, you will need to remove those fasteners. Fill old nail or screw holes with wood filler, unless you intend to reuse them. Be sure to wash the surface with a mild soap and water solution before continuing. Finally, check for any gaps or spaces which need to be re-caulked.
CHOOSE YOUR NEW PRODUCT: Anything that is peel-and-stick will only stay in place for 3 to 5 years. This is best to use at the bottom of a window or around a doorframe. V-shaped metal weather stripping works on a doorframe. It will spring to fill the gap between the frame and the door. Rubber or vinyl weather stripping which is a tube will work for older doors and windows. If you are looking at rubber, be sure to look for the EPDM closed cell variety. This rubber is much more resistant to moisture, UV and ozone damage and aging than others. Nail-in-place applications will last longer than peel and stick.
APPLICATION: Always measure twice before you cut. Begin with a small area and check that the window or door still is able to open and close after the weather stripping is in place before doing the entire frame. If the replacement weather stripping is peel and stick, remove the backing as you go around the frame and lightly press in place. When you are certain it is positioned as you like, press more firmly to secure it. If the new weather stripping is secured with nails, nail through the pre-cut holes in the weather stripping into your frame. When you are using the V-shaped type, be careful to turn the opening outward toward the exterior when applying.