I’ve noticed that there are only a few detailed videos that explain traditional wood window weatherstripping. I’ve read about a number of different options for weatherizing around the sashes and reducing air infiltration, including interlocking weatherstripping, spring bronze, bulb gaskets, vinyl jambliners, and felt-pile weatherstripping, to name a few.
My instinct is to shy away from all things polymer-based. The interlocking weatherstripping seems most attractive to me for the following reasons: (1) the metal material will likely outlast polymer- and fabric-based options, (2) far fewer small nails to hammer in than spring bronze, (3) the “springy” part of spring bronze might scratch up against the side of the sash stiles, possibly causing damage and friction, and (4) the metal interlocking-type appears to more effectively block the pathways for air infiltration.
For your typical 1-3/8″ sash, this interlocking weatherstripping from Accurate Metal Weatherstrip Co. Inc. seems to be well-respected. Below is a video by Martin Muller that Accurate linked to demonstrating installation of their product. (Discussion continues after video below!)
I like to compare the methods and preferences from others in the field, often John Leeke (Historic HomeWorks) and Steve Quillian (Wood Window Makeover) since they’re two of the most prolific content creators with books and videos. John Leeke’s “Save America’s Windows” publication does not appear to address weatherstripping specifically. However, another title he’s co-authored, “Window Preservation Standards,” addresses the topics on pages 64-68. These portions of the text were written by Bob Yapp and Marc Bagala. Yapp’s contribution seems more detailed, and uses a combination of ribbed metal along the vertical jambs and rubber gaskets where the rails meet the upper jamb and sill.
Steve has only a single video on YouTube from 2012 directly mentioning weatherstripping (below), and it looks like it is some sort of “spring plastic.” It’s hard to tell exactly what the material is or where it’s from, but for what it’s worth Steve didn’t shoot the video himself and it’s an old video. I’m confident he’ll get around to covering the topic in depth in a future video when he isn’t busy planning the next Historic Homes workshop!
Do you work on wood windows? What’s your take on weatherstripping? Let us know in the comments below what’s common in your part of the world!