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Drafty Doors and Chilly Windows? It Might Be Time to Replace Your Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is an unsung hero in the world of home comfort and energy efficiency. These thin, often rubbery seals are installed around your doors and windows, creating a tight barrier that keeps warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. But like any other part of your home, weather stripping can wear down over time, losing its effectiveness and leading to a number of problems.

Handyman Toronto, Home repair services Toronto
Upgrade Your Weather Stripping, Save Energy

So, how do you know when it's time to give your weather stripping an upgrade? Here are some key signs to watch out for:

Feeling the Draft:

This is perhaps the most obvious sign of failing weather stripping. Drafty windows and doors are a surefire way to lose precious conditioned air, making your home feel uncomfortable and forcing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This can lead to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment.

A Visual Inspection Reveals Damage:

Take a close look at your weather stripping. Are there any cracks, tears, or holes? Does it appear flattened, compressed, or misshapen? Has it become hard and brittle, or is it soft and crumbling? Any of these signs indicate that the weather stripping is no longer functioning properly and needs to be replaced.

Hearing More Than You Should:

Increased noise from outside is another telltale sign of failing weather stripping. This can include the sound of wind whistling through gaps, traffic noise from the street, or even rain splashing in during heavy downpours. A properly sealed home should be relatively quiet, so if you're noticing a significant increase in outside noise, it's time to check your weather stripping.

Water Woes:

Water leaks around windows and doors can be a major headache. Not only can they damage your walls, floors, and furniture, but they can also lead to mold and mildew growth. If you're noticing any water seepage around your windows or doors after a heavy rain or snowfall, it's a strong indication that your weather stripping needs to be replaced.

The Dollar Bill Test:

Here's a quick and easy way to test the effectiveness of your weather stripping: close a door and then try to pull a dollar bill out from underneath. If the dollar bill slides out easily, it's a sign that the weather stripping isn't creating a tight seal.

Increased Energy Bills:

As mentioned earlier, failing weather stripping can force your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This can lead to higher energy bills, especially during the peak cooling and heating seasons. If you've noticed a sudden increase in your energy bills without any explanation, it could be due to problems with your weather stripping.

Uneven Temperatures:

Do you find that certain rooms in your house are consistently colder or hotter than others? This could be due to uneven air distribution caused by gaps around windows and doors.

Difficulty Opening and Closing:

Weather stripping that's become warped or misshapen can make it difficult to open and close your windows and doors properly. This can be frustrating and inconvenient, and it can also put extra strain on the hinges and locks.

The Age Factor:

Even if you're not noticing any of the specific signs listed above, there's a good chance your weather stripping needs to be replaced if your home is older than 10-15 years. Weather stripping, like most building materials, has a lifespan. Over time, it can lose its elasticity and ability to create a tight seal.

Benefits of Replacing Your Weather Stripping:

Now that you know the signs, let's talk about the benefits of replacing your weather stripping. Here are just a few:

  • Improved Comfort: A properly sealed home is a more comfortable home. You'll be able to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your house, eliminating drafts and hot spots.

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: By preventing air leaks, new weather stripping will help your HVAC system work more efficiently, which can lead to lower energy bills.

  • Reduced Noise Pollution: A tight seal will keep out unwanted noise from outside, making your home a more peaceful and relaxing environment.

  • Prevention of Water Damage: New weather stripping will help to prevent water leaks around your windows and doors, protecting your walls, floors, and furniture from damage.

  • Extended Lifespan of HVAC System: By taking the strain off your HVAC system, new weather stripping can help to extend its lifespan and save you money on repairs and replacements down the road.

Replacing Your Weather Stripping:

Replacing weather stripping is a relatively simple DIY project for most homeowners. However, if you're not comfortable tackling the job yourself, there's no shame in calling in a professional handyman. They will have the experience and expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Finding the Right Weather Stripping and Getting the Job Done

There are a variety of weather stripping materials available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common types:

  • Foam: This is a popular choice for doors and windows because it's compressible and can create a tight seal. It's also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. However, foam weather stripping can deteriorate over time, especially if exposed to sunlight.

  • Felt: Felt weather stripping is another affordable option that's good for doors and windows. It's effective at blocking drafts and noise, but it can also absorb moisture and become moldy if not properly maintained.

  • Rubber: Rubber weather stripping is a more durable option that's resistant to moisture and sunlight. It's a good choice for high-traffic areas like exterior doors. However, rubber can become brittle over time, especially in extreme temperatures.

  • Silicone: Silicone weather stripping is the most expensive option, but it's also the most durable. It's resistant to moisture, sunlight, and extreme temperatures, making it a good choice for long-term performance.

Here are some additional tips for choosing the right weather stripping:

  • Measure the gap around your windows and doors. Weather stripping comes in a variety of thicknesses, so you'll need to choose a product that's the right size to fill the gap effectively.

  • Consider the climate in your area. If you live in a cold climate, you'll want to choose a weather stripping material that's good at insulating your home. If you live in a hot climate, you'll want to choose a material that's resistant to heat and sun damage.

  • Think about the aesthetics. Weather stripping comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose a product that complements the look of your home.

Replacing weather stripping is a straightforward process, but it does require some time and patience. Here's a general overview of the steps involved:

  1. Gather your tools and materials. You'll need a putty knife, screwdriver, tape measure, utility knife, and of course, the new weather stripping.

  2. Remove the old weather stripping. Use the putty knife to carefully pry the old weather stripping out of its groove. Be careful not to damage the door or window frame.

  3. Clean the surface. Once the old weather stripping is removed, clean the surface of the door or window frame with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

  4. Measure and cut the new weather stripping. Measure the gap around the window or door and cut the new weather stripping to size.

  5. Install the new weather stripping. Press the new weather stripping firmly into the groove. You may need to use a hammer and tapping block to gently tap it into place.

  6. Test your work. Once the new weather stripping is installed, close the window or door and check for any drafts. You can also use the dollar bill test to ensure a tight seal.

If you're not comfortable tackling this project yourself, don't hesitate to call a professional handyman.  A qualified handyman will have the experience and expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently, ensuring that your home is properly sealed and comfortable for years to come.


Express Handyman: Your One-Stop Shop for Weather Stripping Replacement in Toronto

If you're in the Toronto area and need help replacing your weather stripping, look no further than Express Handyman. Our team of experienced and qualified handymen can handle all of your weather stripping needs, from choosing the right materials to installing them properly. We're committed to providing our customers with high-quality workmanship and exceptional service.

Contact Express Handyman today for a free quote! We'll help you keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient all year round.

In addition to weather stripping replacement, Express Handyman offers a wide range of other handyman services, including:

  • Furniture assembly

  • Drywall repair

  • Painting

  • Carpentry

  • And much more!

So whether you have a small task or a large project, Express Handyman is here to help. Contact us today and let us take care of your home improvement needs!


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