Weatherstripping is important for preventing air and water leaks around your doors and windows. It is especially important during the winter months. If your weatherstripping is in good shape, your energy bills will be lower. You also won't have to deal with chilly, drafty areas in front of your doors and windows.
Before winter rolls in, you'll want to check on your weatherstripping, and if needed, replace it. Here are some tips for performing these important fall maintenance tasks.
Checking Your Weatherstripping
Most homes have weatherstripping in a few different areas. Your exterior doors may have vinyl or felt weatherstripping along the insides of the frames. There may also be a piece of thick, rigid, vinyl weatherstripping along the bottom of the door. Windows tend to have weatherstripping along both sides and sometimes also between the panes.
As you walk through your home, look at each piece of weatherstripping individually. If you notice any of the following issues, make a note of them:
- Tears in the weatherstripping
- Pieces of weatherstripping that have slid out of place
- Missing screws that should be holding the weatherstripping in place
- Mold on pieces of weatherstripping
- Felt weatherstripping that has become too compacted
Replacing Your Weatherstripping
If you do find some damaged weatherstripping, you'll want to replace it rather than attempting to repair it. Weatherstripping is not expensive, and most kinds are not even able to be repaired.
In the case of vinyl or plastic weatherstripping, you typically have to undo a few screws in order to free the old weatherstripping. You can then take this piece with you to the hardware store to ensure you buy a new piece of the same style and shape. Cut your new weatherstripping to size with a pen knife, and then screw it into place.
If you have damaged felt weatherstripping, you can usually remove it by peeling it off. If it's stuck to the window or door frame, you may need to use a paint scraper to free it. Use Goo Gone or a similar cleaner to remove any adhesive residue. Then, cut a new piece of felt weatherstripping to size. Peel off the paper backing, and press it into place. You may want to use a few staples or small nails to further secure the felt, but this is totally optional.