Weatherstrips serve an important purpose, providing extra protection so that exterior doors can keep the elements out, and prevent unnecessary wear and tear is done to your property’s interior.
You might assume that there is just one kind of product in this category, but in reality, there are several varieties to consider. In order to choose the right one, let’s go over the types of weatherstripping on offer and the pros and cons of each.
Sponge rubber strips
The design of sponge rubber weatherstripping is suitable for use inside frames as a door bottom seal, and it provides a combination of good insulation along with grip and adaptability, thanks to the various dimensions that are available.
Strips are typically self-adhesive, and will also be easy to cut to whatever size you require, so even if you are filling a non-standard gap, sponge rubber strips will be a breeze to work with.
Furthermore, because this type of strip is pliant and malleable, returning to its original shape after compression, it can soften door closes and dampen noise from the outside, as well as provide a degree of weatherproofing.
An affordable yet not especially durable option felt strips can create a compression-based seal around doors and will work well if you are looking to keep out the chill and ensure that heat is not being lost unnecessarily in the colder months.
Some felt weatherstripping will be able to adhere to the door frame on its own, although other products will require the use of separate components to affix it, such as staples.
Just be aware that this stripping will only survive for a couple of years in most cases, which offsets some of its affordability given that replacement will be necessary sooner rather than later.
Specifically built to fit the bottom of doors, door sweeps can be made with lots of different materials, usually a combination of a plastic or metal frame with a more malleable material attached so that contact is made with the floor without doing damage to it.
Door sweeps do exactly that; sweep across the floor with the motion of the door, providing a seal when it is closed to keep warm air indoors and prevent cold air and moisture from outside getting into your home.
Only exterior doors need door sweeps, and many are made to a standard size which will make them straightforward to install wherever necessary. If your door is non-standard in width or depth, some cutting and adjustment of the sweep is unavoidable.
While the sponge rubber strip design works well, the other alternative is the use of a tubular strip, in which the material is formed into a convex tube which runs along the extremities of an exterior door and again creates a compression fit to provide a barrier to the movement of air and moisture.
Tubular strips can be made with rubber itself, as well as with vinyl or even silicone. Like door sweeps, they tend to be attached to a separate mounting frame, which is then affixed to the door.
Some tubular weatherstripping doesn’t have its own mounting hardware but instead relies on a groove being cut into the door itself, into which it can then slot.
Making your choice
Things like your budget, the dimensions and style of your door, and the type of weather conditions you face in your region will determine which is the best type of weatherstripping for your DIY project.
If you still aren’t sure, consult an expert that you trust in order to get advice, or to have help with the installation of weather stripping.