I’m sure we all remember being told by our parents as kids to, “Shut the door! You’re letting in/out the _________!” Where the blank could stand for cold air, warm air, pests, moisture, dust, etc. Most people assume because you shut a door it will stop all the above, and it can, if it has the correct weather stripping in place. As a home inspector serving Leon, Wakulla, Gadsden and Jefferson counties, we are always checking exterior doors and windows for proper sealing. It’s an easy thing to overlook, but your weather stripping can go bad or wear out over time and with exposure to the elements.

A good tip for any homeowner, whether you have an older home or a brand new one, is to check the weather stripping around your doors and windows. A lot of times while performing a home inspection, we find it’s not been properly installed or has been removed for painting, and never put back. Weather stripping comes in many forms and sizes, depending on it’s exact use, but in general, it is a narrow piece of felt, vinyl, rubber, foam, silicone, sometimes combined with metal, for instance, brass or aluminum, which seals contact between the fixed and moveable sections of a window or door. It’d be impossible to create doors or windows that were so perfectly fit that weather stripping wouldn’t be needed. The goal of weather stripping is to prevent rain, moisture and pests from getting in, while also keeping interior air in, which can save energy on heating and air conditioning. Most types are easy to install, just cut it to length and either nail or staple into place, or some types adhere themselves, having an adhesive or sticky back. Felt and foam stripping isn’t very durable, but they are the most inexpensive options. Vinyl is usually more expensive but provides a more durable choice.

Don’t forget about checking your garage door too, adding weather stripping to your garage door is a great way to keep out wind, bugs, water and dirt, while helping insulate your house further. Here are some tips on how to install weather stripping.

 

Thermal imaging used during Tallahasee Home Inspection to show worn out weather stripping around door

The use of thermal imaging during a home inspection makes it easy to see the air leakage around a door that has worn out weather stripping on a cold day.

DIY weather stripping noted during a home inspection in Tallahassee.

A home owner, obviously aware of a gap in the door, took creative measures to install “weather stripping”. We’d recommend utilizing a more attractive method than bubble wrap and duct tape, lol.

Home Inspector documents a gap in weather stripping between two french doors.

A common area where weather stripping is deficient is where two french doors come together.

Leon County Home inspection reveals a door in need of weather stripping.

Large gaps around door jambs allow insects, weather, and dust/pollen in, while also allowing the home’s conditioned air to escape.

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