Weatherstrip Windows and Doors
Randy Allen - Childress, TX

Hardwarian Randy Allen

Lott True Value Home Center

Childress, TX

Weatherstrip Windows and Doors

Level: Experienced

A drafty home is also an inefficient home. To conserve energy and make your home more comfortable, it helps to keep cold and warm air where they belong by applying weather stripping on your windows and doors. Weather stripping is a fairly simple do-it-yourself project that conserves energy and lowers utility bills.

Share this project
Project Steps
Project Shopping List
  • Exterior doors and windows need effective insulation to keep your home efficiently warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are a variety of weather stripping options to choose from, and some of them (for doors) can be used together in order to get the best coverage.

    When choosing weather stripping, be sure that it is appropriate for its location. It must be able to withstand the wear and tear from friction (when opening and closing windows and doors), and fluctuations in temperature and weather.

    Here are brief overviews of the most common types of weather stripping:

    rubber foam weatherseal
    • Adhesive-backed Foam Tape – Pressure-sensitive, adhesive-backed foam tape is probably the most common, affordable and easiest weather stripping to apply. It comes ready to use in rolls of different dimensions. The tape keeps air from sneaking in between the door and the doorstop or between the two window sashes. It also adds a touch of soundproofing and cushion for when the door is accidentally slammed. It usually lasts up to five years and is ideal for sealing drafty windows and doors.
    • Felt – Felt strips have been used for years; they’re an old-fashioned and inexpensive method of applying weather stripping. Like adhesive-backed foam tape, felt comes in rolls of varying lengths, widths, color and quality, and works well for windows and doors. It is usually nailed in place, but there are also adhesive-backed versions.
    • Spring Metal V Strip – This is one of the most durable types of weather stripping. Spring-metal strips come in bronze, copper, aluminum and stainless steel finishes. It comes in rolls, and usually includes nails or brads for installation. Spring-metal strips can last for decades, but take some time to install due to them being nailed in place. They are particularly effective for applying weather stripping to doors and can look more refined in older homes with vintage touches.
    • Vinyl V Strips – These are similar to spring-metal strips but are made of durable and flexible vinyl. Their “V” shape makes them effective for sealing any gaps between window sashes and frames, on both the top and sides of a wood window frame. One side attaches to the window frame and the other side folds in when the window is closed. They are simple to install with their adhesive backing.
    • Door Sweeps – Door sweeps go on the bottom of the interior side of an in-swinging exterior door to seal the air gap between the door and the threshold. Used together with one of the other door weather strips, they provide an excellent seal.

    Weatherstrip a Door

    • Step 1: Inspect and Clean the Doorstop and Jamb
      door sweepsiding and window sealant

      Inspect door frames for gaps and holes that may need sealing. If there are any holes or cracks on the exterior side of the door around the frame, seal them with caulk rated for outdoor use. Insert the caulk tube into a caulking gun, cut off the end with a utility knife at an angle and push the gun’s plunger against the bottom of the tube. Pull the trigger to release the caulk and pull the gun across the area you want sealed.

      Clean the entire area inside where the weather stripping will be added. Use mild detergent, water and a sponge, making sure no dirt or grease remains. Remove old weather stripping and any old adhesive. The old weather stripping should just pull off. For stubborn adhesive, apply a glue and adhesive remover with a rag and scrub it away. Be sure to read all manufacturer instructions to be sure the product is appropriate and won’t damage wood or other areas. Dry the area with a clean cloth.

    • Step 2: Install Foam Tape Weather Stripping

      Foam tape weather stripping installs easily and usually comes with peel-off backing. Measure the doorstop at the top and both sides with a tape measure. Use a utility knife to cut the tape to the correct length needed for each section. Peel off the backing and press the strips against the doorstop just behind the latch area.

    • Step 3: Install Spring Metal V Strips (optional)

      If you have large gaps between your door and the frame and you need heavy-duty coverage, use spring-metal V strips. Cut them to length with tin snips and then nail them to the door frame with a hammer so they’re flush with the doorjamb. Nails should be included with the strips unless they have an adhesive backing. Remember that the opening of the “V” should be facing the exterior of the door.

    • Step 4: Install Door Sweep

      With the door closed, place the sweep on the bottom of the door and check to see that the sweep’s rubber gasket seals tightly against the threshold. Look for any light shining from outside in under the sweep. If you see any, adjust the sweep until it’s blocked out. When you see no more light, the sweep is correctly in place. Use a pencil or pen to mark where to drill holes for the supplied screws. Use a drill to pre-drill the holes and then fasten the sweep to the door with a screwdriver.

      Helpful Tip

      Door sweeps are manufactured to fit standard door sizes and should fit your door right out of the packaging. If not, just measure the door and cut the sweep to fit using a hacksaw.

    Weatherstrip a Window


    • Step 1: Inspect and Clean Window Parts
      caulking a window is part of the weatherstripping and window

      Inspect all windows for gaps that may need sealing. Using mild detergent and water, clean both window sashes. The window sashes are the “frames” directly around each of the windowpanes. There will be a lower and upper sash. Make sure no dirt or grease remains. Remove adhesive from any old weather stripping, using a glue and adhesive remover for stubborn adhesive. Dry the area with a clean cloth.

    • Step 2: Install Foam Tape Weather Stripping

      Measure the bottom of the lower sash and the top of the upper sash and then cut the foam tape with a utility knife to fit these areas. Peel off the backing and press into place. When these sashes are closed, the foam tape will form an airtight barrier so that no outside air can get in and inside air can’t get out. This type of weather stripping can also be used in the window channels, (the groove in which the sash moves up and down) but can wear down quickly due to friction if the windows are opened and closed frequently. A better option for this area is vinyl V strips (see below).

      Helpful Tip

      Check your weather stripping frequently and replace as needed. Foam tape can wear down within a year, so make sure you are maintaining your weather stripping to keep your home insulated.

    • Step 3: Install Vinyl V Strips

      Vinyl V strips often go between the sash stiles (the vertical section of the sash) and the window channels. Open the bottom sash all the way and measure the channel from the bottom of the sash to the bottom of the channel. Use a utility knife to cut the strip to the correct length. Repeat this for the upper sash, opening it all the way down. Then simply peel away the backing and push the strips into place in the channel. When the sashes are closed, both sides of the “V” are pushed together, forming an airtight seal.

      Good job! Now enjoy your home and watch your new weather stripping drive your heating and cooling bills down.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

    60 character limit.
  • Alternative Mulch Landscaping Ideas

    There are a number of mulch alternatives to consider.

    Learn More

  • Top Spring Projects

  • How to Make Compost

    Learn how to make compost for your lawn and garden.

    Watch Video

  • Follow Us On Pinterest

    Follow Us On Pinterest

    Visit our Pinterest page for great do-it-yourself project advice and home inspiration.

    Follow Us

  • Behind Every Project Is a True Value

    Behind Every Project Is a True Value

    Get the projects and advice you need to get your projects done right.

    View Commercial