Weatherstripping & Winterizing Doors & Windows

Weatherstripping and Winterizing Your Home – Doors, Windows & Garage Doors

The best time to winterize a house is before the cold of winter weather starts knocking on your doors and the winter chill begins peeking in your windows. Weather stripping seals the gaps and cracks around doors and windows and is a sure way to keep the frigid temperatures outside where they belong.

What is Weatherstripping and Winterizing?

Weatherstripping and winterizing go hand-in-hand. Winterizing your home prepares it for the onset and duration of the colder months and weather stripping keeps the outside elements from entering the interior of your home. This includes snow, rain, moisture and air.

The action of weather stripping includes checking for drafts around doors and windows and applying weatherproof material in spaces that are degraded. Successfully winterizing your home eliminates cracks and openings that potentially compromise framing structures and manipulate household air temperatures.

If cold air is coming in, then warm air is going out. The furnace is working harder and your thermostat is not resting. Two of the many benefits of weatherstripping include saving money due to reduced utility costs and a consistent internal temperature. Successful weather stripping can save up to 10-15% on energy bills, reduce the likelihood of repairs and prevent high-dollar replacements.

How to Begin Winterizing Your Home

Start with identifying where drafts may be originating. All doors, including garage doors, and windows should be inspected. You may use your hands to gage where unwanted air may be seeping in. Run your hands up and down the length of each, not forgetting the top, bottom and sides.

Next, look over current weather stripping to evaluate its condition. Move a lit candle or lighter around the area being tested. A flickering flame will indicate air movement. If airflow is present, it is time to replace or repair weatherstripping. Another option is to apply a hair dryer to one side of a window or door. If you can feel the hot air on the other side, it is time to repair or replace weather stripping.

Window Weatherstripping

Window weather stripping takes a toll from the harsh summer temperatures, spring rain, autumn chill and blustery winter winds. Window sealant should be inspected and replaced as it will become warped over time. When window weather stripping is compromised it may not prevent leaks or keep moisture from accumulating within the window unit. Leaks not only create unsightly water stains, they also promote wood root and encourage damage to the window frame and the window seal.

Uncontrolled air movement through gaps in your window weather stripping can leave your household vulnerable to adverse health problems due to the growth of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments and can be elusive if moisture and condensation make it deep into a wall or behind the sight of the naked eye.

Windows are also common draft locations. Winterize and weatherseal windows to remain cozy while Old Man Winter does his business outside.

Door Weatherstripping

Door weather stripping is as important as window weather stripping and should be replaced as necessary prior to the oncoming cold weather.

Exterior door weatherstripping should be checked on every exterior door, or door to an uninsulated room, annually. Since these doors are one action away from cooler temperatures, it is critical that their door seal materials are functional and cohesive.

Front door weather stripping protects the barrier between your home and the bitter cold of winter. Front door weather stripping must be flexible and able to go with repeated motion as the front door is a common point of entry and exit.

Under the door weatherstripping is prone to wear and tear due to carpet friction and the in-and-out of highly trafficked areas. For these reasons, careful attention should be given to under the door weather stripping in your home.

Two separate types of weather stripping are needed for doors. Door sweeps require under door weatherstripping which is different than a door seal needed for the top and sides.

Primary Types of Weather Stripping for Windows and Doors

V-Channel: Includes vinyl, aluminum and stainless steel which are ideal for sliding windows and the top and sides of a door. V-Channel products are durable and invisible once in place.

Felt: Includes felt and all-wool felt and is conducive to around a door, the door jamb and window sash. Felt is easy to install, however, its low durability makes it effective for only 1-2 years and it should not be used in places that experience moisture, friction or abrasion.

Foam Tape: Includes foam, vinyl/foam, rubber foam and PVC foam. Use foam in areas such as inoperable windows, the top and bottom of a window sash and door frames. While this method is more inexpensive, it is visible and best where there is light foot traffic.

Door Sweep: Includes aluminum or stainless steel with areas of plastic, vinyl, sponge or felt. Door sweep materials are exclusive to interior door bottom weather stripping.

 Garage Door Weather Stripping

Garage doors experience heavy use and therefore have expected weatherstripping deterioration due to normal wear. Garage door seals have an extra agenda as they keep air and moisture out of your garage; they also serve to keep insects and critters away.

The goal of weather stripping the top and sides of your garage door is to make the sections of the garage door flush against the frame when the door is closed.  Different types of weatherstripping for the top and sides of a garage are available. Examples include PVC Stop Molding, Reverse Angle Jamb Seal and Flag Top Seal.

Additional options for weather stripping the sides of your garage door involve retainers and inserts. The advantage of retainers and inserts is that they come in a variety of sizes and dimensions which can be utilized in segments and are therefore easier to replace than a one-piece weather seal.

There are also a variety of seals available for garage door bottom weather stripping. The end result should be a tight fit between the garage door and the garage floor. Bottom astragal is a good choice or you may choose to go with retainers or inserts that are likewise designed in sections for garage door bottom weather stripping.

Proper weatherstripping of your garage door will keep wind and rain out of your garage and maintain the temperature in your garage, reducing your utility bills.

Door Systems is Your Weatherstripping Solution

Door Systems is a perfect solution for the inspection of trouble spots and has the expertise to correctly adhere proper weather stripping to areas that need an update.

Winterizing your home through weather stripping can range from simple to technical. In both cases weather stripping should be done with precision for a tight seal. Trusting Door Systems will allow for maximum benefit through accurate product selection and professional weather stripping installation.

The many benefits of weather stripping make the project well worth the time and investment. Eliminating drafts, improving internal temperature control, reducing energy bills, and blocking moisture build-up along with repair/replacement prevention will help you focus on the elements of winter that you truly enjoy.