Weatherseal 101 Overview
Weatherseal or weatherstripping is used to seal leaks that allow too much airflow in your home. While a certain amount of airflow is good for your home, leaks can:
- Contribute to drafts and energy loss.
- Act as entry points for household pests.
- Allow noise to travel more freely.
- Contribute to mildew, dust and allergies.
Weatherstripping comes in many varieties but the most common are made of foam, plastic, rubber or vinyl. Some weatherstripping comes in a roll and is made of woven fibers and others are a single piece of molded material that is shaped specifically to make a good seal on your doors and windows.
Choosing the Right Product
Weatherstripping is particularly good for moving joints, such as windows or doors, because it is made to withstand the friction of frequent opening and closing. You need to choose a weatherstripping product that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location.
For example, a product for the bottom of your door or threshold could drag on carpet or erode as a result of foot traffic, and weatherstripping on windows needs to allow easy opening but at the same time make a good seal.
Types of Weatherstripping
The type of weatherstripping you choose will depend on a number of factors, including cost, where it will be applied, and how comfortable you are with home improvement projects. Felt tends to be the least expensive type of weatherstripping, however it is susceptible to weather and not as efficient at blocking airflow as other types.
Woven Pile weatherstripping is made of closely woven textile yarns interlaced into a backing. Plastic extrusion weatherstripping is typically shaped to bridge a gap. The shape of the material creates a seal by pressing against the sides of a crack or gap to block drafts. Urethane foam is soft light-weight foam that compresses well and recovers quickly, which in weatherstripping means it has enhanced sealing performance.
Each of these materials provides great value in weatherstripping as they hold up well, even in high traffic areas and are very effective for blocking dust, light, noise and air.
Most weatherstripping is simple to apply and can be done by most homeowners.
Here are a few tips which will make your next project go even smoother:
- Weatherstripping applies best to clean, dry surfaces.
- Work with temperatures above 20° F (-7° C) for best results.
- Measure twice, cut once.
To see how weatherstripping is applied, go to our video library and watch one of our How-To videos.