Metal Weather-Stripping


Old-fashioned window/door insulation

Unlike the plastic, foam or rubber weather-stripping one mostly finds at the big box stores, metal weather-stripping lasts for decades and truly keeps out the wind and weather. I live in NJ about 5 miles from the ocean and we encounter typical northeastern freezing-to-steamy yearly variations. Very nearly every old (80-100 years) house I know of in my town has some of this installed on the doors or windows (that haven’t been ripped out since in a hasty renovation). I recommend this specifically for retrofitting and sealing old homes’ doors & windows to keep out drafts & winds. Even an old drafty window can keep the rain & snow out, but the air infiltration is tougher to seal against. These weather strips do this every bit as well as newer plastic strips, but last longer and add the advantage of smoothing out the travel of the sash as compared to the wood-wood sliding surfaces of old sash windows. I’ve seen metal weather-stripping described as “carpenter’s weather strip” because it does require someone with some skills & tools to install, but an investment in a day’s effort and a few dollars’ worth of materials has allowed me to refit & tune up 100 year-old sash windows, inswinging casement attic windows, and doors that have clearly already outlasted those with new, more expensive vinyl stuff. I obtain mine straight from a manufacturer in Mt. Vernon, NY (est. in 1898!). They offer a vast selection in zinc, bronze and brass for all types of doors and windows. I usually choose zinc because it’s less expensive and the old stuff I see around town is zinc also, so I figure it must have lasted some time already.

-- Michael Barrett 11/1/07

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