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Weather Stripping

 

Where caulk is used on stationary cracks, you can use weather-stripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable joints, like doors and windows. It's easy to install and very cost-effective. Besides being more energy-efficient, weather-stripping can keep out pests, dirt, and water.

To determine how much weather-stripping you will need, add the perimeters of all windows and doors to be weather-stripped, then add 5% -- 10% to accommodate any waste. Also consider that weather-stripping comes in varying depths and widths.

Choose a type of weather-stripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location. For example, when applied to a door bottom or threshold, weather-stripping could drag on carpet or erode as a result of foot traffic. Weather-stripping in a window sash must accommodate the sliding of panes - up and down, sideways, or out. The weather-stripping you choose should seal well when the door or window is closed while allowing it to open freely.

Choose a product for each specific location. Felt and open-cell foams tend to be inexpensive, susceptible to weather, visible, and inefficient at blocking airflow. However, the ease of applying these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas. Vinyl, which is slightly more expensive, holds up well and resists moisture. Metals (bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum) last for years and are affordable. Metal weather-stripping can also provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out of place.

You can use more than one type of weather-stripping to seal an irregularly shaped space. Also take durability into account when comparing costs.