Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or living on your own as a renter, chances are there are some major and minor projects you’ll need to take care of around the house. While many people know that they have to take care of the gutters, change the air filters, and maintain the appliances, they don’t always know about different tasks like weatherstripping.
Weatherstripping is the process of sealing the exterior crevices of your home. The standard places for people to add weatherstripping include the doors and windows. This isn’t exclusive to the front door or the surrounding windows. The garage door and that half-bathroom window are included, too. Whether you live in a warm climate or a cold climate, it’s an important and effective process to prioritize in your home maintenance plan. Yes, this is a process that you can outsource in order to save time. However, if you understand the logistics of how to do it, this is a project you can do on your own.
Benefits of Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is effective for a number of reasons. If you live next door to a neighbor who smokes incessantly and you don’t want it to get inside the house, weatherstripping can help to keep the odors at bay.
Weatherstripping is most popularly known for keeping the outside air from coming inside the house. It’s helpful for making sure the indoor air doesn’t escape outside. If you’re paying a utility bill to cover your air conditioning or heating, you don’t want to waste any of that energy by allowing the air to slip outside. Weatherstripping keeps everything where it’s supposed to be. The outdoor air won’t come in, and the indoor air won’t go out.
Another thing that won’t be able to come in is a bug. Whether you’re looking to keep out the ants, roaches, or flies, no one wants to attract those small bugs that can easily seep through cracks and crevices that aren’t sealed. While some people choose to use a caulking method, you can actually use a weather-stripping process to keep bugs, dust, and debris from coming inside of the house.
Lastly, weatherstripping can also serve as a sound barrier. If your neighbors tend to make a lot of noise or if you just hear the natural sounds of the outdoors, weatherstripping can muffle the sounds a bit.
Best Times for Weatherstripping
When you’re preparing to set weatherstripping over the windows and doors of your home, chances are you’ll want to be mindful of the air that’s escaping from these areas. Because of this, there are two times that are most ideal for installing weatherstripping.
For starters, you’ll want to consider the climate you live in. The early spring and late fall tend to be the best times to install weatherstripping. This is because during these two times, the outdoor weather tends to be pretty comfortable. It’s also comfortable enough for you to turn off your HVAC system.
When the system isn’t running, you’ll mitigate the chances of wasting money by allowing air to just flow outside. While this process isn’t one that takes hours, it’s not necessarily going to take you 30 seconds either. When you can take your time and methodically lay down the weatherstripping in a thorough manner without worrying about wasting energy, you’ll get the best results. Consider the times of year when you can comfortably turn off your HVAC system and spend time installing the weatherstripping without wasting money.
Steps for Installation
1. Remove the Old Weatherstripping Seal
If there is weatherstripping installed, this is the opportunity to remove it. Start by using a pair of pliers or even your hands to remove the seal. Begin from the top, and work your way down to the bottom. Do your best to take your time so that no part of the seals gets stuck within the crevices. Taking your time also helps lead to easier cleanup.
2. Clean the Surface Area
Once you’ve removed the weatherstripping seals, take time to actually clean the surface area. Begin by getting a vacuum cleaner that has a hose attachment. Use the attachment to get into the crevices, and thoroughly clean the corners of either the doors or the windows.
Once you’ve vacuumed and removed all of the dust from those areas, use some paper towels or a damp cloth and some rubbing alcohol. Use the alcohol solution (or a cleaning solution of your choosing) to loosen up any extra dirt that might have settled in and proved to be harder to remove with the vacuum. Once those corners are thoroughly cleaned, you can either let them air dry or use a paper towel or hand towel to dry them manually.
3. Measure the Stripping Seal
While this step might seem unnecessary, you actually don’t want to waste time or money. One of the best ways to guarantee an efficient process is by checking your measurements to make sure that you have enough stripping seal for the surface area that you are applying it to.
Use a measuring tape in order to get your specifications right. Particularly for areas like doors and windows, it’s nicer when you can have one clean line instead of a bunch of cuts in between lines. Once you’re clear that you have enough and that it fits perfectly for the area that you’re adding it to, go ahead and prepare to actually apply it to the area.
4. Apply It to the Area
Now that it’s time to actually apply the weatherstripping seal to your doors and windows, be mindful to start from one corner to the next. Take your time as you slowly and gently push the seal into the designated crevice. Even though it might seem appropriate to stuff it completely into the section, leave a little bit of room so that you can make the necessary adjustments. Remember that a portion of the seal needs to protrude in order to actually close the gaps. Once you place the seal on a portion, use your hands to push and secure it in place.
5. Test for Effectiveness
Once you’ve secured the weatherstripping seal, it’s time to test for effectiveness. If you’ve secured the seal to a window, open the window and close it. If it tends to open and close with ease, this is a sign that you don’t need to make any more adjustments. When you are able to do the same with the various doors that you’ve applied the seal to, you don’t need to do anything else with it. If you find that you’re able to put your hand over a crack and still feel air from the outside, this is an indication that you need to readjust the seal. If you’re unable to do it on your own, it’s okay to reach out and invest in professional assistance to help you because weatherstripping will save you time, energy, and money in the long haul.
Reaching Out to Professionals
There can be understandable trepidation about doing this process on a garage door. Garage doors are much heavier, and they can potentially be more dangerous. By reaching out to the garage door professionals at the Garage Door Doctor, you’ll be able to rest easily and know that the outdoor elements won’t invade your garage. Plus, you won’t have to take on such a large project on your own. For more information on how we can serve you, contact us today!