Window Weatherstripping Replacement

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Adhesive removing solvent
Strips of felt
Needle-nosed pliers

In order to maintain an energy efficient home, it is important to ensure that your window weatherstripping is kept up to date. By following a few steps, you will find yourself able to do the work yourself to keep your home free from drafts.

Step 1 – Examine Windows

Rather than let yourself be guided by merely replacing existing window weatherstripping, inspect all the windows so that you include those that do not currently benefit from any protection at all. If possible, do this inspection on a breezy day to make it easier to check whether there are any gaps that allow air to pass through. This will enable you to determine how much weatherstripping is required to complete the job properly. This inspection will also allow you to determine what method of replacing or adding weatherstripping is required. For example, a gap in the window frame will require a different rectification method to a gap caused by a misaligned handle.          

Step 2 – Remove Existing Items

While some weatherstripping is nailed into place, other types comprise an adhesive backing that allow it to be simply pressed into place. Use whichever of the following methods is relevant to correctly remove the existing method; if adhesive has been used, remove any traces that remain by dampening a Q-tip with an alcohol-based solvent before running it along the surface as you remove the strip. Wipe the surface with a rag lightly dampened with water. For nails,the use of a claw hammer is usually sufficient for effective removal.

Step 3 – Seal Surrounds

Begin the window weatherstripping process by applying caulk to any gaps in the static window frame and any joins between the frame and the wall. After application, smooth the surface with a scraper or with your dampened finger depending on the size of the area. This must be allowed to dry in accordance with the instructions on the caulk packaging.  

Step 4 – Apply Weatherstrip

Adhesive-backed foam strips are the easiest and cheapest way to seal your windows against the weather and retain heat in your home. These strips are from many hardware stores in rolls that can be measured in accordance with the window so that the correct sized strip can be cut with scissors. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before carefully laying the foam strips in place to ensure they are straight. Once the foam strips are in place, make sure it is kept clean with a soft dry cloth and avoid getting paint on the strips which can make them less effective. Tubular strips with a foam-filled core is very effective to seal windows and should be treated in the same way as flat foam strips.

On older windows, you can apply strips of felt and secure it in place with nails as window weatherstripping. This option is useful in that there are a variety of lengths, widths and colors that the felt is available in to help you ensure that it remains inconspicuous.     

Step 5 – Repair

Where interlocking metal strips are already in place, retain this method of window weatherstripping and merely check that it is still working effectively. Straighten any crooked teeth with a pair of pliers.