As the name implies, weather stripping is something that you use on exterior doors to help keep the weather out.
Anyone who has ever had one wear out knows all too well how rain can get in under the door, not to mention bugs.
Weather stripping also helps keep temperature regulated, for if your exterior door has a gap underneath, rest assured it’s not just weather elements, insects, and other pests making their way in.
It’s also your precious heat or air conditioning seeping out, leading to energy inefficiencies and hence, higher bills.
But another thing you can count on weather stripping to help you with is noise. Yes, that’s right. Weather stripping helps reduce noise.
Being that it’s incredibly cost-effective too and you can get a kit that will give you extras to save for a rainy day, pardon the pun, or do up multiple doors (exterior or interior), it’s an easy way to soundproof, weatherproof, and bugproof your space.
Most people are surprised to learn that with just a little weather stripping that is easy to install all on your own, you can reduce sounds from the neighbors across the hall from you or contain your own sounds.
So when you feel like belting out every song from The Sound of Music, you have friends over, or you’re engaging in a little amorous activity, no one will be the wiser!
Keep reading and you’ll soon discover why weather strip is one of the best things you can get for sealing your doors for noise and more!
How Good Is Weather Stripping for Soundproofing?
Weather stripping is great for soundproofing, doors are one of those vulnerable points for sound because they have gaps around them. When you use weather stripping in your door jambs and underneath the door to seal the gap, it reduces the noise quite well.
There are some truly easy weather stripping kits you can get too, ones that use a self-adhesive high-density foam you simply peel and stick.
You can also use rubber bulb weather stripping gaskets. These can seal the jambs while a weather-stripped threshold and door sweep can close the gap by the floor.
In fact, you can combine these things together along with a new door, if you’re so inclined.
To get the best noise reduction from any door, if budget allows, you can replace a hollow core door with a solid one, weather-strip the perimeter and get an STC rating that comes in at 34 to 36, quite an improvement.
But if it isn’t possible to replace the door either for budget concerns or because you rent and aren’t able to do so, you can still use weather stripping as the best friend you never had for helping reduce noise.
What is the effect of weather strip on noise?
First, it’s important to know where the noise is coming from. If you have old windows, they can let noise in like you wouldn’t believe. But not everyone can afford to replace windows.
One easier and cheaper way to make an impact until you can save up to make the fix is to use weather strip on your doors.
This is especially helpful if you’re a city dweller, the street you live on gets loads of traffic, or you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse where you’re a bit closer in proximity to your neighbors.
If you can see light coming in from around your exterior doors when you shut off the lights in your home and it’s night outside, you could definitely do with weather stripping.
The age of your residence definitely plays a role too. Houses and buildings settle over time, and this becomes very evident around the doors because they don’t settle the same way.
That’s why weather stripping can be a solid choice for reduce noise, not to mention our other points of keeping your property better insulated and keeping out weather and pests.
Your doors might even have weather stripping already, but it doesn’t last forever. You need to maintain it properly and if you notice its deteriorating, you should replace it.
One big indicator is if you see a giant bug easily make its way underneath your door. When that happens, order your weather stripping immediately. You’ll be keeping the likes of it out and further enhancing your space to reduce noise too.
Why you should use weather strip for soundproofing:
We’re big fans of weather stripping because it has so many uses, but one of the best is that of soundproofing. Gaps in your door and the frame are where any noise can get in or out.
If you secure those gaps with weather stripping, you’re basically adding an extremely effective element of noise reduction.
To keep sound out best, you should apply the weather stripping (Amazon link) where your door would sit inside the frame when it’s closed. You can also use this method to keep from wasting energy.
In the summer, your air conditioner needs to work so much harder to cool off your space if there’s a breach in the door space allowing air to flow out.
Adding weather stripping helps keep it in and will keep your home cooler.
Another thing about weather stripping for soundproofing is that it’s the cheapest method. If you can’t afford to do anything else to reduce sound in your space, then you can use weather stripping to make a serious impact.
When the door isn’t fitting in your frame as well as it once did, weather stripping can correct it and make it more efficient.
While all weather stripping will eventually need to be replaced over time, you should make sure to buy a high quality option which will still be very affordable.
Don’t just go for the cheapest price as the quality might not be on par and you’ll just have to replace it much sooner than necessary.
Quality weather stripping will last for years and it’s very easy to install. Ones that you peel the backing off of and stick are among the easiest, so easy, that anyone can put them in place and enjoy a greater reduction of noise.
How to use weather strip for soundproofing
While it can be as easy as peeling and sticking, there are a few ways to use weather strip for soundproofing.
For starters, you’ll need to figure out what your needs are in regards to the space you’re trying to soundproof.
Do you need to add it to your bedroom door to get an extra measure of quiet in a house full of teenagers or a shared apartment with roommates? Do you need it to seal off the gaps in the door to your recording studio? Thinking about where you’ll be applying it and why is the first step.
Keep reading to decide which of the following methods below might be best for you. We give you full details on how to do it right so you can enjoy greater noise reduction immediately!
Option 1: Seal Your Door with Spring-Metal Strips
This method allows you to seal the door and prevent the noise from seeping in through the cracks. It uses spring bronze weather stripping, which is like vinyl or foam stick-on stuff, but it will last for longer… even as long as 30 years!
So it’s a worthy investment even though it’s not very expensive, though it will cost a little more than the other varieties.
This is the kind of weather stripping that is best for doors that are on the exterior of your home. It will keep out water and bugs along with the noise.
What you’ll need to install your weather strip:
- Tape measure
- Bronze spring weather stripping
- Tin snips
- Awl (optional)
Steps to Install:
1. You should first make sure any previous weather stripping has been completely removed. Once it has, measure your door frame width and the length of the door jamb.
Unfurl the metal weather stripping and mark it up with the marker for where you intend to cut it. Be wise and remember the old adage of “measure twice and cut once.”
Once you’re sure you’ve measured it perfectly, cut it to the right length with your tin snips.
Side note: Your weather stripping might not feature pre-punched holes for the nails. If so, you’ll need to take the extra step to do it with marker on the metal lip every 1 ¼ inches to mark your holes for the nails.
You can go a step further and pre-punch those holes with the awl on each of your marks and give it a tap with your hammer.
Of course, you can avoid all this by ensuring you buy the kind that is already punched.
2. Next, you’ll hang that first cut of weather stripping along your door jamb from the side where the door hands just so the material is almost touching the threshold. You’ll use your tins snips to trim the metal so it doesn’t interfere with the hinges.
3. In the case that you’ve purchased the type of weather stripping that has pre-made holes, you can drive a nail into the first top hole and the last bottom hole of the strip, but not all the way. This will help position it. Just make sure you’ve got it straight and if not, now’s the time to get it right. Once you’re sure on the positioning, drive the nails through.
4. Next, tap a nail halfway into the center of your weather strip. Add the other nails in the same way. You’ll then repeat the entire process for the second strip.
5. When you get all the nails halfway in place on both strips and you’re happy with how they’re positioned, you can go ahead and pound the nails fully in. Don’t hit too hard though…you want the tops of the fastener flushed with the strip.
6. The last step is to put the top strip up by using the same processes for points 2, 3, and 4 mentioned above.
Option 2: Use Rubber Weather Stripping
Rubber weather stripping will seal and block drafts plus noise. There are several versions that you can choose from but one that most people tend to favor is the type that applies with an adhesive backing.
This is great for anyone that isn’t overly handy.
In addition to the rubber weather stripping type that has a self-adhesive back, you’ll need:
- Tape measure
- Putty knife
- Utility knife
1. Prior to purchasing your rubber weather stripping, you need to take measurements of your door’s thickness as well as the gap that exists between the door frame and the top of your door. As weather stripping is available in many different widths, you’ll want to choose the right one to give you a snug fit. Going too large can prevent the door from closing all the way so make sure you get this right!
Side note: If there is any old weather stripping on there already, you’ll need to remove it. You can use a flat tool such as a putty knife. If you don’t have one, a flat head screwdriver will work great.
2. Remove any old caulk remnants. Wipe the base of the door and the door jamb with a damp cloth to get rid of dust and residue from old weather stripping so you have a clean surface to adhere your new weather stripping too. Make sure you dry it off with a dry cloth.
3. Measure out your door frame width and length for the door jamb and cut accordingly on your weather stripping. In total, you’ll have 3 strips. You can also line up the weather stripping with the corner edge of the door base, run it along the base until you get to the other corner and make your cut.
4. Once you’ve made your cuts, peel the backing away to reveal the adhesive. With the door open, apply it to your frame. A great way to do this is to stand on the same side of the frame from where the door opens and handle the part of the door jamb that doesn’t have hinges. Adhere one end of your weather stripping in the top of the door jamb, then run it down with the slim edge facing outward to where the door makes contact with the frame.
You may find the rubber adhesive blocks the door lock, but that’s an easy fix. You can cut out the excess bits with a utility knife. On the other door jamb, you’ll smooth it along the edge where the hinges are screwed in.
5. Finally, you’ll add the last strip on the top edge of your door frame. It should face out so that the door can close in on it. Once all strips are in place, press them down to seal them in.
Weather stripping is one of the easiest ways to add soundproofing to your exterior doors or even interior doors where you’d like more privacy.
They were made for keeping water and bugs out, but they have also proved themselves handy at helping with energy efficiency and with noise reduction.
While you won’t be able to completely soundproof a space with just weather stripping, it can add an extra measure of comfort for you.
Just make sure you measure your doors accordingly to ensure the best fit and you’ll have an affordable way to noise reduction fast!