How to Install Weather Stripping Onto Sliding Windows and Doors

Window With WeatherstrippingWeather-Stripping Instillation

When installing weather-stripping onto sliding windows and doors they present some unique challenges. We’ll show you how to solve the various hiccups associated with these tasks.

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Installing Weather-Stripping Onto Sliding Windows

Sliding windows, that the sash moves horizontal, come in both wood and metal. Think about using weather-stripping on wooden frames as you would a double-hung window; except turned sideways. If only one sash moves, weather-strip it and caulk the stationary one. Metal window frames will use the same instructions for weather-stripping whether it is sliding or not.

To seal gaps in jalousie and casement windows special gaskets are used. To weather-strip jalousies, measure the edge of the glass louver, cut the gasket to size with scissors, and snap the gasket in place. To weather-strip casement windows, measure the edges of the frame, cut strips of gasket to size, miter the ends of the gasket strips where they will intersect, and slip the strips in place over the lip of the frame.

Double-hung wood windows almost always require weather-stripping, although if the top sash is never opened, you can solve an air leak problem by caulking to seal any cracks. You may find it advantageous to use more than one type of weather-stripping to complete the job. Be sure to follow the correct installation procedures for each type of weather-stripping.

Metal Gasket Weatherstripping InstalledInstalling Weather Stripping Onto Doors

All four edges around a door can permit air to leak in and out of your house. In fact, the average door has more gaps than a loose-fitting window. Since doors don’t run in grooves as windows do, any cracks around a door is probably far greater than the area around a window. Weather-stripping your doors can seal those gaps, get rid of drafts, and help to reduce your heating and cooling bills.

Before you start weather-stripping, inspect the door to be sure it fits properly in the frame opening. Close the door and observe it from the inside. Look to see that the distance between the door and the frame is uniform all along both sides and at the top. The distance does not have to be precisely the same all the way around, but, if the door rests crooked in the frame, weather-stripping may make it impossible to open or close. Naturally, if there is great variance in the opening between the door and frame, it will be difficult to fit weather-stripping snugly at all points, and gaps will result.

Hinges tend to be the cause of most door problems. So, the first thing is to open the door and tighten all the screws in the hinges. Even slightly loose screws can cause the door to sag. Use larger screws if the screw holes have been reamed out and are too big to hold the screws, make sure the screws will still fit in the hinge’s countersunk holes. Tip: pack the holes with toothpicks dipped in glue, and use a knife to cut off the toothpicks even with the surface. Now the screws have new wood in which to bite.

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Sometimes the door must be planed off to prevent binding. If so, you can usually plane the top with the door still in place. Always move the plane toward the center of the door to avoid splintering off the edges. If you must plane wood off the sides, take the door off its hinges, plane the hinge side, and always move toward the edges.

Spring metal is quite popular for door weather-stripping. It works effectively when installed properly and is not visible with the door closed. In the packages designated as door kits, most manufacturers include the triangular piece that fits next to the striker plate on the jam. Effective but can be pricey!

An easier weather stripping to use is Metal Gasket. They are rigid metal strips with a tube gasket. Effective and cheap!

To install: Start with the door closed, then measure the length of the doorstop on the hinge side of the door frame.  Transfer that measurement to a length of weatherstripping.

Next, draw a straight cutting line.  Cut the vinyl tubing with a utility knife and the metal with a hacksaw, using a very fine 32-tooth-per-inch blade.  Using a self-centering drill bit, drill pilot holes and then install the screws.  When the right and left sides are in place, measure and cut the top.  Attach the top piece the same way the sides.

Weather-stripping and weather-proofing your doors, and the rest of your home, can help keep you comfortable when the weather is inclement. And the good news is that you can make these improvements to your home without having to call a professional.


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