Exterior Door Weatherstripping: An inexpensive alternative to replacing your Front door

Jaishree Knauff

If you have older doors , chances are you're familiar with the pesky issue of gaps caused by house settling and door warping. The door doesn’t quite make contact with the standard inserted weatherstripping around the door. Or Perhaps, you don’t have a built in kerf in your door jamb to allow the weatherstrip to be inserted. In either case,  you are dealing with   cold drafts in winter and the intrusion of heat and unwanted pests in summer. A good test is if you can see daylight streaming through the door.

 Replacing the entire door and frame can be a costly affair, running into hundreds of dollars just for materials, not to mention labor costs pushing the total into the thousands.

 So how do you get a seal between the door and the frame without breaking the bank? The answer is through an exterior door insulation kit as it will allow a good seal on just about any door even if the door has a slight warp. 

¬†This kit comes with screws, 2 long strips (one for each side of the door) and 1 strip for the top of the door. It has a large v shaped foam filled insulator that allows flexibility ¬†and pushes slightly against the door to provide a better seal. An aluminum backer with screw holes every few inches holds the foam in place. It can fill the gap between the door and frame¬† of up to 3/8‚ÄĚ

 Here's a step-by-step guide to installing the weatherstripping kit:

  1.  Measure and Prepare: Start by measuring the dimensions of your door frame to determine the length of weatherstripping material needed. Clean the door and frame to ensure a smooth surface for installation.
  2. Choose the Weatherstripping Material: Based on your needs and preferences, select the appropriate weatherstripping material. Available options are rubber, vinyl and foam and each have their own advantages. In general foam is more flexible and pushes slightly against the door to provide a better seal.  An additional choice of foam material is open cell vs. closed cell. Open cell has more airy cell structure and is therefore lighter on more flexible.  Closed cell foam tends to be dense and less pliable. Closed cell foam weatherstripping can be a better insulator but might make it harder to close the door. 
  3. Cut the Weatherstrip: Using the measurements from step one, carefully cut the weatherstripping material to the appropriate length. It's important to have clean, straight cuts for a proper seal.
  4. Install the Weatherstrip : Begin by attaching the weatherstrip to the top of the door frame. Use screws to attach aluminum holder to your  door frame. Continue installing the weatherstripping along the sides  ensuring a tight fit.
  5. Test the Seal:  Close the door and inspect for any remaining gaps or areas where daylight seeps through. A properly installed door weatherstripping kit should immediately eliminate drafts and prevent daylight from entering.

Once installed, you'll immediately feel the difference ‚Äď drafts are eliminated, making your home comfortable in both winter and summer. No more uninvited bugs or insects sneaking in, and don't forget the added bonus of energy savings.


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How to Choose the Best Window Insulating Plastic

Sam Knauff
Discover the benefits of insulating windows with plastic. From the budget-friendly shrink & seal kits to the enhanced insulation of PVC vinyl sheets, learn how to choose the best window insulating plastic for improved energy efficiency.

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Choosing the Right Winter Window Covers: Thin Plastic vs. Thick Vinyl

Sam Knauff

As winter approaches, this is the question that many home owners ask when to seal their drafty windows. Replacing existing windows or buying window inserts can be an expensive proposition. Using plastic coverings on your windows can help you winterize on a budget.   In this blog, we'll explore two popular options: the thin plastic used in window shrink and seal kits and the thick vinyl plastic. We'll delve into the benefits of each, the installation process, and help you choose the right solution for your winter needs.

  Plastic Window Shrink and Seal Kits:

  1. They are budget-friendly, making them an attractive choice for cost-conscious homeowners or renters. These are typically 0.7 to 1.5 mil in thickness   The thickness   will vary depending on the brand you purchase but they are typically between 0.7 to 1.5 mil.   While not as effective as thick vinyl, these kits still provide a layer of insulation, reducing drafts and heat loss. It's designed to be thin enough to make it easy to shrink using a hairdryer or heat source but still provides some insulation benefits by creating a barrier against drafts and cold air

 Installation Steps:

  1. Clean the Windows:
  2. Measure and Cut Window Film:
  3. Apply Double-Sided Tape to frame of window.
  4. Attach the Plastic Film onto the tape leaving a slip overlap on all sides:
  5. Shrink the Film. Think is an important step to shrink and tighten up the seal:
  6. Trim Excess Film from edges.

 Thick Vinyl Window Covers:

Vinyl Window covers are typically 6-8 mil and provides more durability, tear resistance and insulation properties and it doesn't shrink like the thinner plastic film used in shrink and seal kits.  Thick vinyl is highly durable and is reusable over multiple seasons saving money in the long run. It also provides better thermal resistance, reducing heat transfer and energy loss effectively.

 Due to the increased thickness of the vinyl sheets, they weight more, making the use of  adhesive tape less than ideal for attaching them to the window frame. Instead, it is recommended to employ a more robust solution, such as a storm window kit, to support the added weight of the thicker vinyl.

 Installation Steps:

  1.  Peel adhesive backing off Channels strips and affix them around the frame of the window
  2. Cut Vinyl to size leaving and 1-2 inches on each side and place over the Channels
  3. Pressing frame strips over the vinyl securing them in place
  4. Cut excess out excess vinyl using scissors
  5. For use in the next season, remove the frame strips and fold vinyl.

In the battle of "Thin Plastic vs. Thick Vinyl" window covers for winter, the choice ultimately depends on your budget and insulation needs. While thin plastic shrink and seal kits are affordable and easy to install, thick vinyl plastic provides superior insulation properties and long-lasting durability. Whether you opt for the budget-friendly solution or the superior insulation, both options will help keep the cold drafts away. Stay cozy, and happy winterizing!

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Interior Storm Windows: Your Key to a Cozy, Energy-Efficient Home

Sam Knauff

Are you considering ways to enhance your home's energy efficiency and comfort while staying within a budget this winter season? Interior storm windows could be the solution you're looking for. In this article, we'll explore the different types of interior storm windows available on the market and their unique features.

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What is Kerf Weatherstripping?

Sam James

You may have come across the term Kerf while wandering through the aisles of your local hardware store. Kerf weatherstripping refers to a type of weather strip that is installed in a door kerf, which is a  groove or slot in the door frame or jamb designed to accommodate the weatherstripping material.

Typically, Kerf weatherstripping  is made of flexible material such as foam or rubber. It is designed to be installed around the perimeter of the door frame so that it creates a tight seal when the door is closed. The goal is to  improve energy efficiency and comfort by keeping  out air drafts, water, dust and noise.

To install kerf weatherstripping, first remove any existing weatherstripping that you want to replace. The new material is then inserted into the door kerf, where it is held in place by friction.

Kerf weatherstripping is commonly used in interior and exterior doors in residential and commercial buildings. It is available in various profiles, colors and sizes to suit different door configurations and can be chosen based on the desired level of sealing and insulation.

If you have older home, its very likely that your door frame will not have a pre-existing kerf. Alternative weatherstripping options such as door weatherstrip kit can be used instead.   




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Door Weatherstripping Kit : What and Why?

Sam James


What is It?

A door jam weatherstripping kit is a set of materials used to attach to the sides and top edges of doors jambs to seal leaks around the door. The kit typically includes a foam or rubber strip that is held by an aluminum or vinyl frame/container. The kit is comprised of a shorter piece for the top of the door, and two  longer side pieces. All three pieces can easily be cut to fit the perimeter of the door frame and it attached to it using nails.

Why Use It?

Door Weatherstripping kits are commonly used to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings by reducing air leakages around doors. They can help lower heating and cooling costs. and also improve indoor air quality by preventing dust and pollutants from entering the building.

 Most newer homes have a kerf slot on the door jamb so that weatherstripping can be directly inserted into the kerf, which is a groove or slot in the door frame. This creates a seal around the perimeter of the door.  

However, some doors, especially in older homes do not have built in kerf slots.  Fortunately,  using a door weatherstripping kit can accomplish the same thing and will effectively prevent air leakages through the door.

Older doors may also have irregularities due to warping or house settling resulting in large gaps.

A vinyl clad foam weatherstripping kit will fill those gaps and allow flexiblity against the odor.


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Advantages of Storm Window Plastic Kits vs Shrink & Seal Kits

Sam James

Indoor storm window kits and window insulation kits can both be effective at reducing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer by eliminating drafts, but they have some differences in terms of their advantages.

Advantages of Indoor Storm Windows Kits:

  • Durability: Indoor storm window kits are typically made of more durable materials, such as glass , acrylic or thick¬†vinyl sheets, which can withstand wear and tear better than plastic window insulation kits.
  • Better Insulation& Protection: by using sturdier materials such as heavy duty plastic, indoor storm windows kits can also provide a tighter seal around the window, which can help to ¬†prevent cold drafts from entering your home in the winter, and keep warm air out in the summer.. Thick plastic can also offer additional benefits such as reducing noise transmission and providing an added layer of protection against weather elements like rain and wind.
  • Visibility: Because they are made of transparent materials, indoor storm windows do not obstruct the view outside, allowing more natural light to enter the room.
  • ¬†Reusable: They can be attached to the window frame with adhesive strips ¬†and can be easily removed and reinstalled as needed. Storm window kits are designed to be reusable, making them a more sustainable option compared to window insulation kits that are typically intended for one-time use. By reusing storm window kits season after season, you can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Cost Effective: Compared to traditional window replacement or the use of window insulation kits,¬†interior storm windows can be a more affordable option in the long term because of their reusability. While the initial cost of purchasing indoor storm windows may be higher than buying a window insulation kit, the fact that they can be used over multiple seasons means that you will not have to continually repurchase new insulation kits each year.
  • Less Waste: Storm window kits are designed to be reusable, making them a more sustainable option compared to window insulation kits that are typically intended for one-time use. By reusing storm window kits season after season, you can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Advantages of Window Insulation Kits:

  • Affordable: Window insulation kits are more affordable than indoor storm window kits, making them a good option for those on a tight budget. However, as noted before, they are not reusable, so the kits will be need to be purchased for each season you need to use them.
  • Easy installation: Window insulation kits are generally easy to install and do not require any special tools or expertise. Most kits come with clear instructions and all of the necessary materials, such as plastic film and double-sided tape, to complete the installation.
  • Easy to remove: Window insulation kits can be easily removed when the weather warms up, allowing you to open your windows

Ultimately, the choice between indoor storm windows and window insulation kits will depend on your individual needs and budget. Storm window kits are a more permanent and durable solution, but they can have a slight higher upfront cost. Window insulation kits are a more affordable and convenient solution, but they are not as durable or provide as much insulation as storm windows and will need to be reinstalled each season.

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