Weather stripping is placed around windows and doors to help keep warm air in winter from leaking out of your home. With properly applied weather stripping you can keep your home warm at the same time lowering your energy bills. As weather stripping gets old it gets brittle and stops being effective. As a part of regular home maintenance you need to keep an eye out for worn out weather stripping and replace it.
Worn Weather Stripping
Weather stripping will start to breakdown because of age and continued exposure to the elements. You should inspect your weather stripping at least a year, typically in the fall before the weather starts to get cold. Vinyl weather stripping starts to get dry and brittle and you will see it start to crack, it will also start to shrink and lose its shape
Removing Your Old Weather Stripping
If the old weather stripping was the simple peel and stick kind then it is fairly easy to just pull off from around your windows by hand, it will take you less than a minute. If you have the other kind that is held in place with screws or nails then it is going to be a much longer process, you will have to remove all of the older nails and screws by hand.
Choosing a New Weather Stripping
If you head to your local hardware store looking for weather stripping there are dozens of options at your fingertips and they can vary a great deal in price. Let’s look at your options:
- Adhesive Foam Tape: This is cheap and easy to install and it’s best to put it at the bottom of a window or where the door closes at the frame. You need compression for this type of adhesive to seal. It does have a fairly short shelf life and will only last roughly three years.
- Peel & Stick Vinyl: This is another cheap and easy solution as with anything this inexpensive you will have to replace it after a couple of years.
- V-Shaped Weather Stripping: This works best on the side channels of your windows or with a door, it opens to plug the gaps in any leaky windows and doors. It is slightly more expensive but it will last longer.
Getting the Surfaces Ready
Before you install the new weather stripping you need to get rid of the old stuff, clean and dry the area where the new weather stripping is going in. You made need some rubbing alcohol or adhesive remover to get rid of the old tape.
Installing the New Weather Stripping
If you are using the peel and stick type of weather stripping then you will need to install it on a warm day, when the temperatures are below 50F it won’t adhere to the surface properly. Start small and make sure you can close the windows and door easily. For the peel and stick you simply take off the back and push it into place. If you are using the V-shaped weather stripping you want the opening facing out. Weather stripping can help to keep your utility bills under control, keeping the warm air in your home where it belongs.