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How To Install Weatherstripping




Don K. of Boise, ID wrote:

Hey Itchy,

My home has air leaks coming in from several areas. Can you give me some do it yourself hints and ideas on weatherstripping?

Before you begin on you weatherstipping project you need to figure out where your air leaks are coming from, usually the doors and windows. Then you need to decide on what type of weatherstripping to use.

Weatherstripping comes in various shapes and is made of different materials. You could choose the more expensive metal or vinyl weatherstripping or if you're cheap like me you'll opt for the tape or felt type. The felt usually is reinforced with metal strips. Or, you can use a combination of weatherstripping types to accommodate an area that is shaped irregular.


Measure the area to be weatherstripped and make your cuts. Make sure the surface you're applying it to is dry and clean. Don't try to install weatherstripping when it's too cold or it may not stick. The weatherstripping needs to compress when the door or window is shut. You want to apply it firmly so it's snug against both surfaces.

For windows you need to apply weatherstripping to the frame and sash. When you're done be sure to try opening and shutting the window to make sure it works properly. Also check the window lock to see if it's working.


For doors you need to weatherstrip the door jamb by applying strips on each side. Don't be boneheaded like I once did and apply a weatherstripping that was too thick. I was all done and proud of myself until I tried to close the door and it wouldn't shut. My wife didn't say anything - just smiled. Anyway, you'll also want to make sure the corners are weatherstripped so the strips meet with no gaps. This may also be a good time to replace your threshold. Also don't forget to install the door sweep, adjusting it so it prevents air leakage.

That's about all there is to it. It's not rocket science but if you wanted to use a metal weatherstripping such as brass interlocking you would probably want to hire a professional.

Related Tips and Advice:

How to Insulate an attic with blown in insulation.
How much insulation do I need?
How to soundproof a wall with fiberglass insulation.
How to insulate ducts.
How to seal air leaks in your home.


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