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Types of Weather Stripping

by Michigan State University on Apr 26, 2012

You can install weatherstripping to seal air leaks around movable joints, such as windows or doors.

For a great selection of weather-stripping and seals, check out Amazon for online ordering and delivery

To determine how much weatherstripping you will need, add the measurements of all windows and doors, and then add 10% to accommodate any waste. Also, consider that weatherstripping comes in varying depths and widths. You can use more than one type of weatherstripping to seal an irregularly shaped space.

Choosing a type of weatherstripping includes consideration of friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location. For example, when applied to a door bottom or threshold, weatherstripping could drag on the carpet or erode as a result of foot traffic. Weatherstripping in a window must accommodate all the sliding of panes. The weatherstripping you choose should seal well when the door or window is closed while allowing it to open freely. Also considerations of the current frame, wood/metal/vinyl would be a consideration.

Types of Weather Stripping

Choose a product for each location. Felt and open-cell foams tend to be inexpensive, susceptible to weather, visible, and inefficient at blocking airflow. However, the ease of applying these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas. Vinyl, which is slightly more expensive and takes more time to install, holds up well and resists moisture. Metals (bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum) last for years and are affordable. Metal weatherstripping can also provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out of place.

Metal

Seals by spring tension. Nearly invisible with proper installation. A good value. -very effective -lasts 10-20 years -moderately easy to install; measure, cut and nail -used on most wood window channels -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires tin snips, hammer, nails, tape measure

Foam-filled Vinyl Tube

Unsightly in some places. A reinforced flange is very durable. Do not paint the tube gasket. -very effective -lasts 5-10 years -easy to install; measure, cut and nail -used on window frames -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires knife or shears, hammer, and nails or staple gun, tape measure

Hollow Vinyl Tube

Unsightly in some places. A reinforced flange is very durable. Do not paint the tube gasket. -effective -last 2-7 years -easy to install; measure, cut and nail or staple -used on window frames -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires knife or shears, hammer, and nails or staple gun, tape measure

Foam Rubber Tape

Many widths and thicknesses are available. Will not stick to a dirty surface. Clean and dry surfaces before installing them. -effective -lasts 1-5 years -easy installation; measure, cut, peel, and stick -used on window top and bottom -used on door frame top and sides but not where surfaces slide against each other -installation requires knife or shear, tape measure

Rigid Metal Strip Tube Gasket

metal strips with slots rather than holes for fasteners can later be adjusted. Do not paint the tube gasket. -very effective -lasts 5-10 years -moderately easy to install; measure, cut, screw or nail in place -used on window frames -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires hack saw, hammer and nails or screwdriver and screws, tape measure

Wood Strip Foam Gasket

The wood strip can be finished to match the door frame. Not good for warped doors. Do not paint the foam. -effective -lasts 1-3 years -moderately easy to install; measure, cut and nail in place -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires hand saw, hammer, nails, tape measure

Felt Strips

Only good for narrow and even gaps. It comes apart where rubbing occurs. Do not paint. Not effective when wet. -least effective -lasts 1-2 years -easy to install; measure, cut, nail, or staple -used on wood window top and bottom -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires knife or shears, hammer, and nails or staple gun, tape measure

Vinyl/Plastic/Mylar 'V'

This works like spring metal. It's installed flat and then bent to a 'V' shape, the open end of the 'V' to the outside of the doors which open inward. -very effective -lasts 2-20 years -easy to install; measure, cut, peel, and stick -used on window channels, sides, top, and bottom -used on door frame top and sides -installation requires knife or shears, tape measure

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