How Do You Install Weather Stripping on a Window?

Weather StrippingInstalling weather stripping on windows reduces drafts, prevents warm or cooled air from escaping, and reduces your utility bills. Installing weather stripping can cut your utility bills by as much as 30 percent.

Different Types of Weather Stripping for Different Situations

Several different types of weather stripping exist:

  • Felt
  • Pressure-sensitive, adhesive-backed foam
  • Tubular gasket weather stripping
  • Foam-filled tubular gasket weather stripping
  • V-channel or single spring-metal strips
  • Self-sticking spring-metal strips
  • Serrated metal
  • Interlocking metal weather stripping
  • Jalousie gaskets

Weather stripping made of adhesive-backed foam or felt, which is also available with an adhesive backing, is inexpensive but less durable than metal weather stripping. If you install either foam or tubular gasket weather stripping on a window, be sure to protect it if you paint your window frames. Paint causes foam weather stripping to lose its resiliency, and it causes tubular gasket weather stripping to stiffen and lose flexibility. Weather stripping with an adhesive backing is, of course, easier to install than weather stripping that is nailed or screwed in place. However, jalousie gaskets simply snap on; so, they may be the easiest to install of all. How Stuff Works states how these different types of weather stripping work and how easy they are to install. A more detailed discussion follows with installation instructions for each type of weather stripping and information about which type of weather stripping is best for a particular window, door, or situation.

Identifying and Removing Worn Weather Stripping

If you already have weather stripping installed, you should inspect it at least once each year. The adhesive strip on the back of weather stripping eventually looses its grip and pulls away from or drops off of your windows. Foam weather stripping looses resilience and fails to fill the gap between the frame and the window. Rubber and vinyl weather stripping loose their shape and effectiveness as they dry out. As they become more brittle, they can crack. Metal weather stripping can become bent or come loose if nails fall out; it can even crack.

To check for gaps in your weather stripping, stand outside and use a hair dryer to blow hot air around the edges of your windows. Have someone inside run a hand along the edge of the window to feel for the hot air as you move the hair dryer.

If you need to replace self-adhesive weather stripping, all you need to do is pull off the old strip. For other types of weather stripping, remove all of the screws or nails attaching it to the door or window.

Install Weather Stripping On a Window

Lowes offers separate instructions for weather stripping double-hung and casement windows and recommends using both v-channel and foam weather stripping on double-hung windows. Casement windows require only adhesive-backed foam. You will need:

  • A hammer
  • Finish nails
  • A tape measure
  • A utility knife or shears for foam, rubber, or vinyl weather stripping
  • Tin snips for metal weather stripping

To Install Weather Stripping on a Double-hung Window

Wash the window jamb and the bottom and back of the sash with soap and water. While the window dries, measure the height of the window jamb and the width of the sash. Cut a strip of the v-channel weather stripping and of the foam weather stripping equal to the width of the sash and cut two strips of the v-channel weather stripping so that each strip measures one inch longer than the height of the window jamb. When the window is dry, peel the backing from the foam and press the side of the weather stripping with the adhesive up firmly onto the bottom of the sash. Make sure the adhesive seals well.

Peel the backing from the two long strips of v-channel weather stripping, fit one strip between the styles and the jamb on each side of the window, and press both strips firmly into place. Secure the v-channel strips with finish nails and test to ensure that th window opens and closes easily. Remove the backing from the remaining v-channel strip, open the window a few inches, and press the v-channel strip firmly onto the back of the sash so that is even with the top edge and the “v” opens upward.

To Install Weather Stripping on A Casement Window

Use soap and water to wash the stops. While the stops dry, measure them and cut strips of self-adhesive foam weather stripping to fit. Remove the backing and press one strip firmly into each stop.

Knowing how to install weather stripping on a window helps you keep your house comfortable.

Related Resource: Repair a Window Sill