Weatherstripping

Vinyl Adhesive WeatherstrippingWeatherstripping can be used for many applications and there are several types. This page discusses where to use different types of weatherstripping and details of how they are installed and how they generally come packaged.

Weatherstripping is the process of sealing off openings such as windows, doors, vents, etc. for the purpose of keeping out undesirable weather. It is commonly done in colder climates in the wintertime to stop cold air from coming in and warm air form getting out of the house. Some weather stripping is added to doors and windows at the factory, but a good deal of it is left up to the homeowner.

In the United States, there are local code requirements that stiplulate you must have weather stripping on every door or window that leads to either the outdoors or a room that is not insulated. So, not only will weather stripping save you money and help keep you warm in the winter, it is required in most areas of the U.S.

Metal Weatherstripping

There are many different types of weather stripping with unique characteristics and applications. Here is a list of the most popular ones:

1. Interlocking metal weather stripping: Interlocking metal weatherstripping for doors several two piece interlocking pieces. Once piece goes on the door and the other goes on the frame. Both pieces are U-shaped and one is smaller than the other and fits inside the larger U-shape, thus forming an air-tight seal. With this type of weatherstripping, installation can be difficult because the pieces have to match up perfectly when the door opens and shuts. Then if any of the pieces loose their shape, they don’t fit together properly. They do make a good seal when they work together properly though. They are used for doors.

2. Spring metal weatherstripping: This type of weather stripping normally comes packaged in rolls and comes with brads used to install it. The pieces are often either V-shaped or flat. Spring metal weatherstripping can be a bit trick to install since they don‘t come with self sticking backing. These are normally used for windows and doors. They are for using around the moving parts of the window. The material gets tacked up along the edges of the moving window parts so air cannot escape through the cracks. They are also good for doors, but you need to get types that are labeled for doors.

3. Self adhesive spring metal weatherstripping: This type of weatherstripping is like the above type, but it has the self sticking backing and therefore is much easier to install. This type works best on wooden windows. This type works like the other type of spring metal weatherstripping, but is best for wood windows.

4. Serrated metal: Serrated metal weatherstripping is backed with vinyl or felt and is packaged in rolls that should come with the brads for installation. This type of weatherstripping offers the sturdy construction of metal weatherstripping combined with the ease of installing felt. They will work for both doors and windows.

Foam and Vinyl Weatherstripping

1. Foam tube gaskets: foam tubes are foam filled tube like gaskets that often contain a foam center and sometimes can be hollow. The foam filled ones will hold their shape better and longer than the hollow tubes. Neither one should be painted or they will lose their elastic abilities. They can be used on The upper and lower sashes of metal windows.

2. Adhesive Backed Foam: This is an inexpensive weatherstripping solution for doors and windows. It can be made of either foam or plastic and comes in rolls. It is easy to install. All you need to do is peel off the backing and stick it in place. This type cannot be painted or it will not work properly. This type is generally used for the frictionless parts of windows. You should only use in on the bottom part of the window where it shuts so that the foam makes a good seal to the window sill.

3. Felts: There are several types of felts that can be used for doors or windows. They come in all sorts of sizes and colors and can be used anywhere. Most have to be tacked in place. Felts are most commonly used for wooden window frames.

4. Jalousie gaskets: These are special weatherstripping strips for jalousie windows. Jalousie windows are the type that have several small panes of glass the act like a mini blind and fold in and out together to open and close. The jalousie strips attach to the edges of the pieces of glass to form a seal when they are closed.

That about covers the common types of weather stripping and tells what types are typically installed where. Good luck weatherstripping your home. Some types take a lot of patience to install. You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations closely when installing any type of weatherstripping.

Photo by youngthousands, Creative Commons Attribution License