How do I Install Weatherstripping?

Ken Black

Installing weatherstripping may be one of the simplest, yet economically beneficial tasks that can be done by a home owner. It is estimated that weatherstripping windows and doors can save as much as 15 percent in energy costs over the course of a year. For those who don't know how to install weatherstripping, just a few simple tips can nearly make you an expert.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

The first step needed in order to install weatherstripping properly is to measure each area that will be done. Weatherstripping doors are the primary area of concern as the cracks around doors tend to be more pronounced than those around windows. However, windows can also be a significant problem from time to time.

To install weatherstripping in doorways, the threshold to the top of the doorstop must be measured. Then, once completed, a piece of weatherstripping should be cut to match it. Put it in place and close the door and make sure it makes a good seal. If it does, you are ready to nail it into place with finish nails. The next step is to install a sill seal on the exterior side of the door at the bottom. This will help reduce drafts coming in underneath the doorway.

With windows, different types of weatherstripping may be used on the sides than is used on the bottom. When looking to install weatherstripping with self-adhesive material, the most important thing is to make sure all areas where it will be applied are cleaned with soap and water, then allowed to dry. A dirty or wet surface will cause the adhesive to eventually peel away.

Working to install weatherstripping to the sides of the window is the hardest part of the job. The most common method is to use V-channel weatherstripping, which has an adhesive back. Peel the adhesive off and work it up the sides of the window in the channel so that it runs the length of the sash channel. Then, nail in the weatherstripping. It should be noted this weatherstripping should run approximately two inches above the top of the window sash when closed. This prevents snagging when opening and closing the window.

To install weatherstripping on the bottom of the window sash, simply use a foam strip with an adhesive. This is placed on the bottom of the window sash. If using a sticky adhesive, make sure the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) to ensure proper bonding. Weatherstripping without self-adhesive can also be used, but will require nailing or stapling the strip into place. Due to the fact this can be done without having to work the weatherstripping into tight places, this portion of the job can be done relatively quickly.

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