Even in mild climates, drafty windows and doors can be extremely problematic. Proper weatherproofing can minimize unnecessary energy consumption and environmental stress, and contribute to the improved health and happiness of occupants.
For an existing home or building, air leakage and energy loss should be continually reevaluated. *The EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air-sealing and insulating their homes.
How drafty is your dwelling?
A lot of air-sealing and weatherproofing guides immediately jump to using weatherstripping as a quick fix for almost all air leakage needs, but for an existing structure with a multitude of weatherproofing issues, home and building owners should consider a more comprehensive plan.
Common signs that your home or building needs weatherproofing:
- Drafts around closed windows or doors
- Gaps around window or door trim
- Moisture, insects and dust find their way in through holes and gaps around windows or doors
Sealing existing windows and doors
Ensuring the airtightness of windows and doors requires a thorough approach. Removing the interior window and door trim will give you the best opportunity to access and seal the space behind the trim. Though a challenging task, the energy benefits can be significant.
Gaps behind the trim can be filled with a high quality air and weather barrier sealant like PROSOCO’s R-Guard AirDam. Installed as the interior air seal, AirDam® creates a long-lasting, weather-tight seal that prevents moist outside air from entering, and conditioned indoor air from escaping around window and door assemblies. Not only does this effectively prevent drafts, but it also seals in hot or cool air inside the building.
AirDam adheres to most construction materials, designed to work equally well on metal, painted metal, wood, and vinyl.
If it’s not possible to remove the window and door trim, you can still take steps toward improved airtightness. Seal all gaps with caulking or a combination of backer rod and caulking.
Weatherstripping can be used in areas where movement of the window or door is necessary.
How to weatherproof a door
The first step to weatherproofing an exterior door is to make sure that the door is hanging squarely in its frame. If it has fallen out of alignment, take the necessary steps to adjust it before you begin the weatherproofing process.
Next, locate the gaps. Inspect the frame around the door from the interior side and look for light coming through, which means that air will stream through too. Examine the door and frame from the outside as well.
Once problem areas have been identified, it’s time to consider how to address each case. Weatherstripping material can be used around the door frame. This usually comes in a roll with an insulating, and adhesive side. It is a good idea to wrap the material all the way around the door frame – not just around the side where the draft is located. Afterward, ensure that the door closes properly – you may also have to trim the remaining material for a cleaner look.
You may need to install a door sweep on the bottom of the door. And caulking should be used to seal any areas around the frame where the caulking is missing or corroded.
How to weatherproof new windows with the R-Guard air and water barrier system
Eliminating drafts in new construction projects is relatively easy when the PROSOCO R-Guard system of products is used.
AirDam is used for the interior weatherseal around window units to the improved rough opening – and the best part is that it is immediately waterproof and can be applied in unfavorable weather conditions to dry or damp substrates, eliminating many weather-related construction delays and accelerating the “drying in” of new buildings.
Minimizing energy loss caused by drafty windows and doors is critical
Whether you are a building owner or a homeowner, evaluating the airtightness of your windows and doors is an important and ongoing task in ensuring increased energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction.
Questions about AirDam, or any other products in PROSOCO’s R-Guard line? Give our Customer Care team a call at 1-800-255-4255.
Or visit www.prosoco.com to learn more about R-Guard air and water barriers.