14 Different Types of Weatherstripping to Keep Mother Nature Out

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated October 21, 2021
Woman in front of windows with winter scene outside
Vesnaandjic / E+ via Getty Images

Choose between these 14 different types of weatherstripping

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Weatherstripping is a strip that goes around windows, doors, and garages to keep Mother Nature out of your home. It keeps the temperature outside at bay, prevents snow or rain from entering, and helps seal air leaks to help prevent HVACs from overworking. However, choosing the best type of weather stripping starts with where you’re going to put it.

Whether you’re planning to DIY replacement weather stripping or hire a pro for the job, here are 14 types o weatherstripping to consider.

1. Tension Seal

Tension seals are one of the most common types of weather stripping. You might also find this type of weather stripping called a “V Strip.” This type of weatherstripping is typically made out of vinyl, aluminum, bronze, and stainless steel.

You’ll typically find this type of seal around the tip and sides of a door or sliding window. A tension seal generally is “invisible” in the sense that, unless you’re looking for it, you won’t find it on a door. It’s also easy to install and relies on a peel-and-stick method.

There are downsides to tension seals, though. They tend to increase the difficulty of opening the door, and they also require a flat surface for proper installation.

You should choose tension seals for most doors and sliding windows in the home, as they tend to fare the best at creating a seal to prevent drafts.

2. Felt

Felt weatherstripping is made up of a flexible metal strip. Rather than the peel-and-stick method, you’ll instead need to use staples or glue to put the felt into place. You’ll typically only use this weather stripping for the side of the door where it’s connected to the hinges.

While relatively inexpensive compared to a tension seal, it requires constant replacing. Opening and closing doors repeatedly causes the flexible metal strip to bend and stop, preventing a draft relatively easily.

3. Reinforced Foam

Reinforced foam is another fairly common weatherstripping. This type of weatherstripping will go at the bottom of a door or window, which means you’re likely to pair this one with another type. It’s made up of closed-cell foam to prevent any weather from entering your home.

For reinforced foam, you need to saw the material first and then nail it into the area. This does create quite a bit of durability and tends to fare well against even the highest winds. Because of the material, though, it does tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

4. Tape

A specific type of rubber typically makes up tape weatherstripping. You’ll only want to use it in areas where you notice wear and tear on existing weatherstripping. Consider this a temporary solution when none of the other options are available.

For extra reinforcement, you may want to staple the tape into the frame for best results.

5. Rolled or Reinforced Vinyl

With reinforced vinyl, you’re getting a relatively solid weatherstripping option. This one does require that you have a metal or wood strip already present before installation, though. But because it’s vinyl, you get quite a few options for colors and painting, but it can still be visible because of the difference in texture.

Utilize reinforced vinyl weatherstripping when you already have a metal or wood stripping in place, and you’re simply looking to minimize the amount of airflow into your home.

6. Door Sweep

Black old wood door on yellow house
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Door sweep weatherstripping only goes on the bottom of a door. If it’s an interior door, you should only place it on the side that it swings open. There are a lot of different materials to choose from for door sweeps, so you can have anything from aluminum to even a sponge-like material.

The big problem with door sweep weatherstripping is that it tends to hang too low on a door. So, if you have carpet in the area, there’s a high chance it catches when the door opens.

7. Magnetic

Magnetic weatherstripping works by attaching magnetically to the tops and sides of a door and window. It’s extremely easy to install and uninstall since it’s magnetic, and it creates a great seal in the process. It does come with a high upfront cost, though.

8. Tubular Rubber and Vinyl

Tubular rubber weatherstripping only goes on doors, but it does come with the benefit of surrounding the entire door. This way, you don’t have to pick two different weatherstripping types to accomplish the task. You’ll want to hire a local handyperson for this one, as DIY installation tends to be tricky if you’ve never worked with it before.

9. Reinforced Silicone

For reinforced silicone, you’re only going to put this weatherstripping on the bottom and sides of a door or window. Reinforced silicone works similar to reinforced vinyl but tends to form a better seal because of its slightly more pliable feature. This does tend to come with a higher cost than its vinyl counterpart, however. 

10. Door Shoe

Door shoes are essentially what they sound like, they go on the bottom of a door. This type of weatherstripping is perfect for those in a rainy climate; its angle prevents the water from staying on the strip and from coming into the home.

With door shoes, you’re going to have a combination of aluminum and vinyl inserts. You can switch out the inserts easily, which can cut costs in the long run.

11. Bulb Threshold

You align bulb thresholds with the door threshold. Because of this alignment, bulb threshold weatherstripping goes through a lot of wear and tear, leading to sudden failures. When it does fail, you typically have to replace the entire threshold as well.

12. Frost-Brake Threshold

Frost-brake threshold weatherstripping is perfect for those in cold climates, as there’s less heat transfer. They use different materials to get this job done but still run into the same problems as bulb threshold weatherstripping.

13. Fin Seal

Sometimes it’s not the front door or any other exterior door that needs weatherstripping. For instance, your sliding glass door may need weatherstripping to help keep severe weather away. This is where fin seals come into place.

Made of plastic and tending to last for several years, fin seals are often hard to replace after their initial installation.

14. Interlocking Metal Channels

Interlocking metal channels are a weatherstripping type that is only active when the door is closed. It interlocks together to create one of the strongest seals possible and goes around the door’s perimeter. Though this type of weatherstripping offers some of the best performance, it does require professional installation and has a high upfront cost.

FAQs

How do you know when to replace your weatherstripping?

You’ll want to inspect your weatherstripping twice a year to ensure there are no missing pieces or damaged areas. If you experience any severe weather, it’s best to check afterward as well.

Weatherstripping should last around five years on average. Though this will change depending on the type of weatherstripping you go.

How much does weatherstripping cost?

On average, the cost of weatherstripping is around $450. Though this depends on how much weatherstripping you need to and the type your job requires.

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