With cooler weather on the way for Omaha area homeowners, there are a number of items that should be on your maintenance checklist. One of the areas you will want to pay attention to is making sure your door is properly weather stripped so you don’t lose heat. Everyone has become familiar with the importance of maintaining an energy efficient home, both to save money on electric bills and to be environmentally responsible. One thing homeowners tend to overlook is the importance of replacement weather stripping for exterior doors as a means of preventing drafts and the use of excessive heating and cooling to counteract their effects.
How to inspect your weather stripping
Inspecting weather stripping is a simple enough task to be conducted several times throughout the year, or at least in the autumn as the weather turns cold and again when it begins to warm up in the spring. The inspection shouldn’t wait until there is a noticeable draft coming in around the door. You can regularly feel around the door to check for any air leaks. Check both sides, if you feel outside temperatures coming inside or if you feel inside temperatures leaking to the outside, it’s time to replace the weather stripping for a front door. An even better way to inspect the weather stripping is to light a candle, or perhaps a piece of incense, and move it around the edges of the door. Even the slightest of drafts you are unable to feel will blow the smoke either into or away from the door.
Is it time to replace your weather stripping?
- You can feel a very noticeable draft under your doors. You can typically tell if there is a draft by placing your foot or your hand near the bottom of the door.
- Your energy bill is unexpectedly higher than normal.
- You can feel unwanted moisture on your walls or near the insulation in the house.
- You don’t feel a difference when you change the temperature on your thermostat.
These four things are very evident signs that it’s time to replace the weather stripping in your home. The stripping under your doors is used to a lot more wear and tear than any other weather stripping in the rest of your house. To keep the air inside your home to stay in your house, it’s best to inspect the stripping once a year.
Weather stripping replacement
Choose new weather stripping:
There are different types of weather stripping, so the first step is to cut off a small piece of the old with either a razor knife or scissors so you can take it with you to the store and purchase a compatible replacement. Most styles have a mushroom shaped ridge which wedges itself into a kerf in the door frame, a “kerf” being a small groove.
There are four kinds of weather stripping: foam, tension seal, v-channel and felt. Felt is the cheapest but least effective, and it’s no good if it will be exposed to moisture. Foam tape is cheap and easy to install, and v-channel or v-strip is durable but more expensive. Tension seals are the most effective but can be the most difficult to install. Most homeowners choose foam weather stripping for doors and v-channel weatherstripping for windows, or a combination of the two, because they’re the easiest to install and the most cost effective.
Remove old weather stripping and debris:
Before you can apply new weather stripping, you’ll need to remove the old. If the old weatherstripping was held on with adhesive, you can simply pull it off, but if it was stapled or nailed in, remove the old nails or staples, and if you want, fill in the holes. Clean off any adhesive residue and other dirt or debris on the surface.
Measure, cut, and apply:
Measure and cut new strips of weather stripping to apply to your door. Cut your lengths of weatherstripping about an inch longer than necessary; you can trim them to fit the frame when you are done. Cut one piece for each side of the frame.
Foam tape weather stripping for doors is self-adhesive and easy to apply. Start slowly; peel off a little bit of the adhesive and apply the weather stripping a little at a time. If you have problems getting it to stick, apply some superglue to the back of the foam. V-channel weatherstripping has adhesive, but you should also use finishing nails to hold it in place. Once you’ve nailed the weather stripping in place, test the sash to make sure it’s not catching on the seal.
Test the new seal:
After you’ve applied new weather stripping around your doors, it’s time to test the seal. You can test it the same way as you did before!
Weather stripping keeps leaks and drafts out of your home, so you can enjoy lower energy costs and a more comfortable house. It’s easy to replace the weather stripping around your doors, and now is the perfect time of year to do it. When the cold winter winds blow, you’ll be nice and cozy in your draft-free home when you call HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors.