Weather-Stripping Tips

Whether you're trying to keep the warm air in and the cold air out — or vice versa — weather stripping is needed in key locations around the home. Check out these DIY basics you should know when it comes to weather stripping.
Related To:
deciding if weather stripping would be beneficial

deciding if weather stripping would be beneficial

Figure A

  • To determine if weather stripping is needed around a particular exterior door. Stand outside the door with a flashlight. Have a friend stand inside the closed door. With all lights turned off, shine the flashlight around the perimeter of the door. If you're helper can see light shining through anywhere around the perimeter, weather stripping is needed. (Depending on the placement of the door, this technique may work better at night.)

  • Here's another technique for doors. Try sliding a dollar bill between the door and door-jamb on the locked side. If the dollar bill can fit through, chances are good that weather stripping would be beneficial.

  • To check if weather stripping is needed around windows wet your hand with water, and run your hand around the casing of the window. The moisture on your hand will help you detect any drafts that may be passing through the window perimeter.

  • There are several types of weather stripping. The simplest to use is adhesive-backed foam. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement around windows and doors to eliminate most drafts. A variation on this style of stripping is a felt nail-on variety, but it's a little harder to use.

  • An upgrade over the foam type is the rubber-gasket variety. The flexible gasket compresses to seal cracks and openings. Some brands have adhesive backing; others can be attached using nails or staples.

  • A door-sweep is a great way of sealing out drafts coming from underneath an exterior door. These attach to the bottom of the door using adhesives or screws.

  • A door threshold also helps to prevent drafts. If your threshold has a rubber gasket that is broken or damaged, you can obtain a replacement at home centers.

  • Shrink-film is an effective technique for sealing windows that won't be opened during the winter. The film is applied over the surface of the window and frame like cellophane. A heat-gun or hair dryer is used to heat the film so that it shrinks taut across the surface.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Energy Efficiency Tips

Everyone wants to conserve energy these days, and Today Show Tips offers creative ideas to help make a home green the easy way. These tips will help homeowners save money on energy bills, too.

Tips on Staining Wood

Follow this advice on how to properly stain wood furniture.

Tips for Cleaning Leather

Find tips, techniques and recipes for keeping leather in top shape.

Tips on Painting Furniture

Learn these tips on painting furniture to ensure that your next furniture painting project is a success.

DIY Home Inspection Tips

It's possible to improve a home's energy efficiency without hiring a professional. Paul Ryan, of DIY's Home Energy Savings , offers tips on how to perform an informal energy audit.

Plumbing Emergency Tips

Ed the Plumber offers tips on the tools needed to make a plumber's emergency kit and what to do during plumbing emergencies.

Tips on Choosing Adhesives

Adhesives, or glues, work in different ways and each is suited to specific surfaces. Use this guide to choose the best adhesive for any project.

Tips for Cleaning Leather Upholstery

Leather is a popular choice in furniture, car interiors, clothes and accessories. Along with the cozy leather sofa and great shoes, comes the frustration of keeping them clean.

Tips on Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there are plenty to choose from. Here is some information to help you choose what kind of cabinet is right for you.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.