What does it mean to weatherproof your home? It is the process of applying coatings and surface barrier materials to make walls or surface areas impervious to water or heat/cold air loss.
Why should I weatherproof my home? The main purpose comes in keeping something out that you do not want inside your home, namely water, and keeping in what you don’t want to have to pay more for if it goes out, namely heat and cool air during the varying season. Water damage to roofs, windows, doors, siding and other major components of a home are very expensive to fix once the damage has occurred. It is critical to ensure that these areas are protected from damage by sealing off all areas where water can penetrate into the home, or behind something permanent that cannot evaporate the water on its own, like behind a piece of trim around a window on the exterior of a home.
How do I weatherproof my home? Weatherproofing a home first begins with ensuring that flashing, caulking, weather-stripping, paint and trim are all present and installed properly. A home is weatherproofed when these 5 areas are maintained on a regular basis. I will be explaining each of these areas in a 5-part series beginning with flashing and caulking in the first email and ending with weather-stripping, paint and trim in a couple of follow up emails.
A. TYPES OF WEATHER-STRIPPING:
The greatest source of air leakage in most homes occurs around doors, windows, and access hatches, such as the ceiling opening from the living area into an unheated attic. Weather-stripping can be a delicate job because those openings need to be fitted loosely enough that the door or window operates freely, yet tightly enough that air leakage is stopped. The type of weather-stripping you’ll use depends on the location and the type of opening. Three types of weather-stripping are common:
- Compression: Compression weather-stripping is used to seal swinging doors and window sashes. It consists of a molded strip (it may be wood, aluminum or rigid vinyl) with a flexible vinyl bulb along one side. As a rule, compression weather-stripping is the most durable type available.
- V-Type Strips: V-shaped weather-stripping is fitted against the side of the door or window jamb so it presses against the edge of the door or sash and forms a seal. V-stripping may be vinyl or bronze.
- Foam: Foam weather-stripping is used to seal either swinging or sliding doors or windows. It comes in various sizes with an adhesive backing on one side. It is fastened to the edge of a door or window stop, or to the bottom of a sliding window sash.
Thresholds and Door Bottoms: A threshold fills the gap between the floor and the bottom of a door. It may have a built-in vinyl bulb. If not, it must be used in combination with a door bottom, mounted on the lower edge of the door.
B INSTALLING WEATHERSTRIPPING
To weather-strip a door, first install the threshold. Measure the distance from the floor to the bottom edge of the door; thresholds come in a number of heights–typically 5/8″, 1″ and 1-1/2″. Choose a threshold that allows about 1/2″ gap to leave room for the vinyl bulb.
The threshold should be placed so its highest point (or the center of the vinyl bulb, if the threshold has a built-in bulb) is directly under the door. Measure the width of the opening and cut the threshold to length with a hacksaw (aluminum thresholds) or a fine-toothed handsaw (wood thresholds). The threshold will probably have to be notched on each end so it fits around the door stops.
Set the threshold in place and close the door to check the fit and position. Once the threshold is in place, mark the location on the floor, then open the door. Run a thin bead of caulking along the underside of the threshold on each side. Aluminum thresholds have a C-shaped channel along the edges to accept caulking. Set the threshold in place and screw it firmly to the floor.
To apply compression weather-stripping to a door or swinging (casement) window, first close the door or window. If the door has a deadbolt, lock it. Cut each strip to length with a hacksaw or tin snips and stand it in place. Push the strip in toward the door or window sash so the bulb is partially compressed. Don’t fit it too tightly, or the door/window won’t close properly. Nail the strip in place, starting from the center and working your way toward both ends. Check the door/window frequently to make sure it operates easily.
To apply foam weather-stripping, cut the foam strips to length with scissors. Peel back about 1″ of the adhesive cover strip and press the foam into place at the top of the door/window stop. Work your way down, peeling the cover strip away as you press the foam into place.
To apply V-type weather-stripping to a door or swinging (casement) window, cut the strips to length with scissors (vinyl) or hacksaw (bronze). Place each strip on the jamb with the raised “V” facing away from the door or window sash, positioned so the door/window sash will be centered on the strip when closed. Fasten the strips in place.
To apply V-type weather-stripping to a double-hung window, first lower the sash. Cut the strip to length and slip it down along the side of the sash with the raised “V” facing outside. Position the strip in the center of the sash and fasten it in place as far as possible. Raise the sash and repeat the process along the lower half of the strip.
If you would like more information on how you too may work with the Scott Ivey Real Estate Team, please contact us today. You can reach Scott Ivey by calling (916) 283-7959 or email Scott personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott has been a licensed Real Estate Professional and Realtor in California since 2004 (DRE:01438657). Through his real estate network, Scott is able to help families across America.
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