4 Types of Weatherseals and Their Pros and Cons
Keeping the elements out of your property is important for several reasons, from the energy-saving benefits to the advantages from the point of view of everyday comfort and household maintenance.
You can achieve this with the help of weatherseals, and there are actually a number of different varieties to consider.
To help you choose, let’s look at the main options available and the benefits and pitfalls they bring to the table.
Image Source: Flickr
If you are looking for an easy-to-install option that is ideal as a DIY project, then Foam-Tite weatherseals and equivalent foam-based products are a good choice.
As the name suggests, these are made with supple, versatile foam which is good at filling varied gaps between windows, door frames, and the like. They are sold in several colors, allowing you to match the seal to the rest of your decor if you wish.
The downside is that for self-adhesive versions of foam weatherseals, there is an inevitable upper limit on the lifespan of this product, which means that planning to replace them every few years is necessary. Thankfully because they are easy to install and inexpensive, this is not too much of a problem.
Also known as V Strips, tension seals can be made of either metal or plastic, and have a distinctive shape that allows them to shield voids in sliding windows and doors.
All you need to do is choose the tension seal which has the right dimensions for your needs and trim it to the desired length before pushing it into place or affixing it with tacks depending on the design.
If used carefully and regularly monitored for issues, tension seals should last a long time, especially if they are metal iterations. A little more attention to detail is required when ordering and installing V Strips, so you might want to get a professional involved if you want to make sure your doors and windows are weatherproofed.
Felt, like foam, relies on compression to create a seal and block out moisture and cold air which can cause damp. It can be used not only on exterior doors and windows but also around internal doors.
A perk of felt seals is that they do a good job of deadening noise between rooms, and also preventing doors from closing too noisily. Some are self-adhesive, but most may require you to either tack them in place or use staples to achieve the same end.
One point to bear in mind is that felt seals are the least durable of the bunch and can suffer more if exposed to significantly disruptive weather conditions. This is why they tend to need replacing within a couple of years, especially in the case of exterior doors. Use them as a cheap, temporary solution and you should be fine.
A door-specific type of weather seal, sweeps sit at the base of exterior-facing doors and combine a metal or plastic housing with a brush or sponge element. This avoids the ingress of water and also holds in the heat from your home, keeping your energy expenses as low as possible.
Installing door sweeps can be straightforward or tricky, depending on the type of door you are dealing with. Modern UPVC doors may be easier to work with than traditional wooden doors since they tend to fit standard-sized sweeps, although consulting your manufacturer’s guidelines will point you in the right direction.
Now that you know about the main types of weatherseals, all that remains is to install and maintain them, as they will pay for themselves many times over in the savings you’ll make on utility bills.