Good insulation is the key to an energy-efficient home but, unfortunately, poorly weatherproofed doors and windows will negate any benefits you may gain by packing the walls, floor and roof with fibreglass or cellulose. The gaps between doors and windows and the walls should be insulated before trim is applied, but you can easily do this afterwards. You should also caulk around the trim and the windows and add weatherstripping on the door jambs and window frames.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Pry bar
- Spray foam insulation
- Utility knife
- Acrylic latex caulk
- Silicone caulk
- Caulking gun
- Weatherstripping tape
Pry off the trim around doors and windows with a pry bar.
Spray foam insulation into the gap between the window or door frame and the studs. Fill the space about half full and let the foam expand as it dries to fill the space. Let it dry.
Use a utility knife to cut the foam flush with the window frame. Re-apply the trim.
Insulating with Spray Foam
Use a caulking gun to spread a bead of acrylic latex around the outer edges of all exterior window and door trim and to fill gaps around knobs and latches. Wipe away the excess caulk with your finger, and clean your finger frequently with a damp rag. Use a colour that will blend with your decor, or repaint the trim once the caulk has dried.
Spread a bead of clear silicone caulk around loose panes of glass in windows and doors, again wiping away the excess with your finger. Keep a rag and some vinegar handy to keep your finger clean.
Apply weatherstripping tape to edges of windows or places on window frames or door jambs that appear open to the elements. Use enough tape so that the door or window is completely sealed when it is closed.
Applying Caulk and Weatherstripping Tape
Tips and warnings
- Weatherstripping is best applied to smooth wood or metal. It does not stick well to rough wood, but the adhesive on the tape can be fortified by using a little contact cement.
- Use rubber gloves when applying spray foam insulation, and don't let it drip. It is extremely sticky and difficult to remove once it has dried.
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