If you’re like us, you have a great little house that has its fair share of drafty corners and cracks. Maybe you even have cheaper windows than you’d prefer, possibly a vaulted ceiling that sucks warm air up and far away from where you want it, and maybe you also store your paint in the basement like we do because your garage gets cold enough in winter to freeze anything stored in it.
Well, as relatively new homeowners (of a year and a couple months), we’re still learning how to seal up the house and deal with all those little energy suckers. This is Part I of my Winterizing Series. I know it’s not glamorous or a crafty project, but it’s an important project!
There are lots of easy ways to winterize and/or do other small projects to conserve some energy and bring down the utility bill. I’m going to talk about weather stripping today. Recently, when we had our storm door installed, the installer pointed out that the “vinyl clad seals” around our doors were very old and needed to be replaced. Then he told me how to do it, and he even cut a little sample piece off the vinyl clad seals he had in his truck to show me what to look for at the store.
We got it done over the weekend, and it was surprisingly easy. In fact, it’s so easy and cheap, there’s really no excuse not to do it.
So what exactly am I talking about when I say “vinyl clad seals”? I’m talking about the vinyl-wrapped foam pieces that go around the inside of your door jamb. When shut, a door is resting on these, and they prevent drafts from coming through around the sides and top of the door.
Open your front door and take a look. You should see a strip of squishy vinyl that wraps all the way around the door frame. It might be black, brown, grey, or white, and if you’re like me, you’ve never noticed it before!
Now, honestly, I don’t know what it was about ours that they needed to be replaced. (If it weren’t for the storm door installer pointing it out, I would never have thought they even COULD be replaced!) But, ours were probably original to the house (11-12 years old) and generally worn out, so use your judgment in determining whether yours could use replacing or not too. For the $10 and 10 minutes it takes to replace it, it’s probably worth it to just do it.
You can buy “Vinyl Clad Seal” from any home improvement store, and we actually found ours at Walmart. $10 per package, and one package is enough for one door.
Ok, so step 1 is identify the squishy vinyl strip. In our case, it was black.
Next, you should notice that the top piece was installed first. So find the top of one of the side pieces, and gently pull the rubber strip out of the crack it was pushed into. You might need a needle-nose pliers to get a good grip and so you can pull it out without tearing the rubber from the foam part.
Remove the vinyl pieces from all three sides. (Or let your husband do it while you take pictures!)
Then, install the top of the new seal first by just pushing the rubber portion into the crack. After that’s done, cut a 45 angle off the back of just the top of each side piece with a scissors, so that the front of the seal angles up to the top of the door jamb, and push those into their respective cracks on each side of the door. Then keep pushing that rubber piece into the crack all the way down on both sides, and you’re done!
No breezes will be getting through the sides or top of your front door after replacing your “vinyl clad seals”. :)
Could that have been easier? I don’t think so!
Part II : Insulating Your Garage Door is coming soon :)
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