What Is Weatherstrip?

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Every time some particularly cold or hot weather is forecast, you no doubt hear a lot of murmur about weatherstrip.

Now, it may sound to the untrained ear like some sort of risky striptease executed in only the most extreme weather, but, sadly, it’s nothing quite as dangerous or sexy as that.

In a nutshell, weatherstrip is a type of insulation that can shore up small vulnerable spots around windows or entry doors against the weather outside.

What Is Weatherstrip

It’s typically DIY installed by residents, but certain aspects of door or window weatherproofing installed by the manufacturer are also referred to as weatherstripping.

But that’s just the quick answer! If you want to learn more about the particulars of this wonderful and myriad product, read on!

Why Do People Need Weatherstrip?

Although an incredibly varied product, weatherstrip in all its forms does one singular job… it bridges gaps in the facade of a house, thereby keeping the air outside the house outside and the air inside the house inside.

But why are we all so obsessed with this?

Well, it’s not much of a big deal during the mild months, but when the weather gets extreme, weatherstripping doors and windows is a total game changer!

The most power-hungry electronics in any household are found within the temperature control system.

They work tirelessly to keep the ambient temperature in our homes lovely and warm during the winter and nice and cool during the summer.

However, when there are small air leaks dotted around the entry points of our home, air from outside is sucked into the building, which poses a rather large problem.

It forces our thermal control units to work tirelessly to stabilize the ambient temperature, and to do so, they use tons more energy.

This of course increases our energy bills, meaning those small hairline voids around our windows and doors cost us BIG in the long run, but weatherstrip completely neutralizes this inefficiency, keeping the energy bill manageable.

How Much Do I Stand To Save If I Weatherstrip My Windows & Doors?

It’s hard to say how much money you’d save by weatherstripping, as it largely depends on how much money you’re currently hemorrhaging due to a lack of weatherstripping.

But generally speaking, you’re looking at something between 5 and 10%, with an average across the States being about 7%, which over time can really add up.

Weatherstripping often only takes 30 minutes to an hour, yet it can save you a small fortune moving forward, so I highly recommend inspecting your windows and doors to see if they’re letting air (and money) slip through the cracks.

Types Of Weatherstrip

Commercially available Weatherstrip runs the gamut from reels of thin vinyl tape, all the way through to sizable insulation/flange combos for front doors.

Most weatherstrip designed for use on windows arrives with an adhesive back for easy installation, but more substantive variations may require invasive installation with nails or screws.

To give you an idea of your options, let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular types of weatherstrip.

Weatherstrip

V Strip

Also known as tension seal, V strip is a metal or plastic strip with a fold in the middle so it forms a V-shape. 

The arms of the V are forever pushing outward, allowing them to spring open and bridge gaps from one surface to another.

V strip is as rudimentary as weatherstrip gets, which is why it often comes as standard on fixtures such as double hung windows and front and rear doors, but it can be remarkably effective.

Installation is relatively simple. Just cut it down to size, stick it in place using the adhesive edge, then secure it with finishing nails.

This BBTO weatherstrip is a classic example of quality V strip.

Felt

Sold in large rolls, felt weatherstrip will either be 100% felt, or felt reinforced with a pliable metal spine.

It’s one of the cheapest options, but, as you’d imagine, it doesn’t always last that long — We’re talking a year or two.

It’s possible you’d find felt with an adhesive back, but most commonly, installation involves either stapling or nailing it in place.

If this sounds like a good option for you, I’d recommend checking out this Torrami felt weatherstrip.

Foam Tape

If you’re looking for a no-fuss installation, foam tape is a great choice. Featuring an adhesive back, just peel, stick, and move on with your day!

It can also be sourced in many different widths and thicknesses, making it a great option if you’ve got a rather eclectic list of weatherstripping tasks to complete.

Foam tape is the most popular method of insulating windows, but it’s not the hardiest solution. You may have to reapply new tape each year.

Want to learn a bit more about foam weatherstrip? Check out this DGSL roll.

Door Sweeps

A door sweep is essentially a weatherstrip specialized for running across the threshold of an entry door.

They can be plastic, stainless steel, or aluminum, fitted to a plastic, sponge, or vinyl strip included to fill out the space between the bottom of your door and the lower jamb.

Sweeps are usually installed using a drill and screws, but U-shaped door sweeps also require the removal of the door from the hinges.

This Suptikes offering is a fantastic example of a traditional door sweep.

And KS makes an amazing U-shape sweep.

Tubular Silicone, Rubber, Or Vinyl

Tubular forms of weatherstrip have a secret weapon.

Not only do they provide a physical barrier to inhibit the passage of air, the hollow center provides a dead air barrier that’s even more capable of keeping indoor and outdoor climates separate.

Installation can be as easy as using an adhesive strip, but sometimes you’ll have to secure them with screws.

This Keeping Fun rubber tubing is a great example of this type of weatherstrip. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it — Weatherstrip is any strip of material used to keep the weather from influencing the ambient temperature in our homes.

There are innumerable variations on the market, so it’s worth shopping around a bit to find the perfect solution to your escalating energy bills.