Doors and windows



An important functions of exterior doors and windows is to keep outside temperatures from entering the house. In order to do this, exterior doors and windows need to be properly sealed and their seals kept in good order.



Doors


If you can see light around the door frame or a candle (or stick of incense) held around the frame flickers then the gaps are drawing air either in or out of your house and should be blocked.

Both the gaps around the sides and top of the door as well as the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold should be sealed.

Gaps around the side and top can be sealed with weatherproof seals while the gap at the bottom is sealed with a door bottom seal. These are explained in detail below.

Did you know!! A 3 mm gap around an external door is the equivalent to a 14 cm diameter hole through an outside wall. 

Windows

Depending on the style of window, various techniques can be used. Generally windows can be sealed using the same draught sealing tapes as doors.

For more ideas for sash or double hung windows click here.

For more ideas for sliding aluminium winows click here.

Types of seals

Weather seals

Seals adhere to the door stop to block the gaps around the sides and top of the doors. They usually attach by an adhesive tape and can serve functions other than eliminating air leakage such as rain proofing, keeping insects and dust out. They are usually made from the following materials:
  • EPDM rubber- Most durable weather–strip. Will retain its elasticity and insulating qualities for many years of exposure.
  • High density foam - Extremely tough, durable and long–lasting.
  • Closed cell PVC foam - Waterproof and weather resistant. Compresses to fill irregular gaps. Can be used outdoors.
  • Open cell foam - Can be compressed so it can seal even very narrow gaps. For inside use only.
  • V-Strip - A thin folded strip of plastic that can seal very small gaps. Although not available locally is very useful and may be worthwhile buying on-line. V-flex or V-strip from M-D Building Products and FrostKing can be purchased from Amazon.
Other materials that can be used or recylced are felt strips, vinyl, wood, carpet, plastic

The most common weather seal brands available locally are Moroday , Raven products and Cowdroy. Use each companies respective product charts to select the appropriate type of seal. Each company makes a similar range of products.

The table below allows comparison of the common brands' products. Clicking on the product takes you to the products specifications.

Weatherproof seals list


Door bottom seals

These seals attach to the bottom of the door (and may include a threshold component) and block the space between the door and the threshold. They can be attached by adhesive tape or with screws, depending on the model and quality.

The style of door opening, the direction of the opening and the width of the door must be considered when selecting a model. Often an exisitng door bottom seal can be readjusted to refit the gap.

Door bottom seals are made from plastic, rubber, nylon brush or self sealing flaps of aluminium or plastic or a combination.


Door bottom seals



Draught sausages can be used to seal the door bottom gap on internal and external doors, especially those leading to unheated or cold rooms such as bathrooms, toilets and laundries.

Double sided draught sausages are extra useful as they stay in place as the door opens and closes. Double draught excluders are also useful for sash windows too, as the window can be closed into the gap between the two sausages.


Door stop seals

If the door is warped or gaps are variable a door stop seal may be a better option. This is a strip of wood or plastic with  brushing that is attached to the door stop when the door is closed to ensure a tight seal right around the door.

CLICK HERE for instructions for replumbing your door if it is warped or settled resulting in large and variable gaps.




Door stop seals


Gaps between frame and building structure

Doors and windows may have gaps between the frame and the building structure. These can be sealed with expandable foam, silicone, caulking or tape.

Products not available in Australia but can be purchased on-line via Amazon and are useful for sealing gaps are:
FrostKing Mortite caulking cord - easy to use caulk in a cord. Useful for sealing gaps inside or outside without drying out. Can be paited over and easily removed.
3M Interior Weather Sealing Tape - this tape is flexible and conformable, working to seal cracks and eliminate drafts. Useful for sealing windows, vents. Can be removed without damamging paint etc.



Suppliers

Weather seals and door bottom seals

Most hardware stores stock a selection of seals See CONTACTS for hardware addresses.

Door hardware specialists have other quality products as well. Access Hardware
21 Brisbane Street
Hobart
Ph (03) 6211 3177

Draught sausages

Most hardware stores as well as Spotlight stock single sausages. See CONTACTS for addresses.

Make or purchase double sided sausages on-line at Amazon (search for twin or double draught excluders, costing around $10).

Amazon

Weatherproofing products not available in Australia such as the 3M and Frostking products can be easily ordered from Amazon