Most door and window seals are made of thermoplastic materials. Despite their elasticity, they can become hard, brittle, and porous over the years. A little faster where the sun shines with its UV rays, a bit slower in the shade – inevitably also because the plasticizers in the material thaw out over time. And particularly stressed are those gaskets that are moved regularly – ie on doors and windows that are frequently opened and closed. Our guide will show how to fix damaged door and window seals.
Fix damaged door and window seals: What happens if I do not fix it?
Hard and brittle the seals are the result. And that ensures that they can no longer properly fulfill their task. Maybe then driving rain can penetrate. In any case, summer heat will get into the house faster, or heating heat outside. It will definitely be expensive, although hardly any damage to the building fabric is to be feared when you fix damaged door and window seals.
How do I proceed?
The problem is that seals break so slowly that they are often noticed only when it is too late – especially when it pulls noticeably near the door or window, or when you can hear a distinct whistling sound in the wind.
Although there are many different sealing profiles, they are standardized. Ergo: Either contact the window manufacturer immediately and use the dimensions to order new gaskets or cut off a gasket with a cutter and then go to the specialist trade.
Once the new seal has been purchased, the old one can be removed with a craft knife or a sharp spatula – please have a closer look, some variants are not glued but clamped in a channel and can simply be pulled out by hand.
For glued gaskets, the gluing zone is cleaned with a cleaner suitable for the window material (no acetone in plastic windows). Afterwards, the new gasket can simply be glued on (are usually self-adhesive).
How do I avoid it in the future?
You cannot completely stop the aging process of the seals, but they brake. It is enough to wipe the seals with a damp cloth at every window cleaning process. And before and after the winter, apply some silicone spray or petroleum jelly to keep the seals smooth for longer.
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.