Pre-Winter To Do List123

Weather stripping around doors and the threshold seal at the bottom of doors can wear out or become damaged over time. Replacing damaged weather stripping or thresholds can make a big difference in your home’s energy efficiency. There are several different types and sizes of weather stripping for doors, so take a piece with you to the home center to make sure you buy the right one. Newer doors have weather stripping that’s simply cut to length and pushed into a groove around the door. Older doors can be sealed using self-adhesive foam or rigid strips that are nailed in place around the door.

The rubber gasket in metal thresholds can also be replaced. Remove the rubber threshold strip, and take it with you to the home center to find the correct replacement. If you can’t find a rubber replacement strip or the threshold is damaged, buy a new threshold of the correct length and height. Use a hacksaw to cut the new threshold to length, and notch it around the door casing. After test fitting it to make sure the door closes tightly on the rubber seal, apply a bead of caulk to the underside of the threshold, set it in place, and attach it to the floor using the screws provided.

Caulk Cracks

Even very small cracks and gaps in your home’s siding and trim can make a big difference in the heating bill this winter! Check your siding – particularly aroundwindows, doors, and vents – for cracked boards, gaps, and cracks. Repair cracks according to the size of the gap:

  • Small Cracks: Fill cracks smaller than 1/4” with a bead of exterior-grade paintable caulk.
  • Larger Cracks and Gaps: Before caulking, fill cracks wider than 1/4” by pushing foam backer rod into the hole until it’s just below the surface. Then, cover the backer rod with caulk and smooth the surface.
  • Holes and Large Gaps: Fill large holes and gaps with expandable spray foam in a can. Carefully spray the foam into the space, allowing plenty of room for it to expand. After the foam has hardened, trim it flush and paint or stain it to match.

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About the author: Joe Fiorilli