Window seals

It’s good to live in the Maldives. It’s warm there almost all year round. Even in January, you can splash in the ocean and sunbathe. Beauty! No one needs a fur coat and a hat. I wrapped myself in a rag and walk around. And most importantly, they do not have such a serious problem as insulation and window gluing. Yes, in fact, there are practically no windows. Bare openings without glass, in a pinch, wooden shutters.

And we have?! From year to year, with the arrival of the next winter, we are painfully struggling with the same question: how to caulk the windows so that it doesn’t blow? It’s good if you have plastic profiles with double-glazed windows, seals and other bells and whistles. And if not?

Take me at least. I had to deal with gluing windows, one might say, from school. I always tried to get creative and every time I came up with something new. At first, like all the Soviet people, I cooked paste, coated paper ribbons with it and sculpted them on the windows. Then I got self-adhesive paper. It seems to be easier – you do not need to cook glue. But such paper had one bad feature: exactly by the New Year, it fell off with enviable constancy.

There was a case, I went broke on a medical tape plaster, which I sealed the windows, rejoicing at my resourcefulness. But the joy was short-lived. In the spring I tore off this plaster … along with the paint that covered the window. The sight turned out to be heartbreaking.

I was always haunted by the question: “Has humanity (I mean that part of it that lives outside the borders of our homeland) has not come up with other, more progressive ways of gluing windows ?!” It can’t be.

Alternative to paper

And then one day smart people advised me to use a sealing gasket. They said that, they say, such a gasket not only prevents drafts from entering the room, but also protects against dust and city noise. I decided to try the new method on myself, more precisely, on my windows. I went to the market and began to ask sellers: what do they know about gaskets?

It turned out that in nature there are ordinary foam gaskets for plugging cracks (depending on the thickness, the price varies from 15 to 35 rubles per 10 m). And also polyethylene foam, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and rubber seals, which, in turn, are divided into self-adhesive and those that are glued. There is also an adhesive tape for gluing windows (it looks like a tape plaster, only wider – 10–12 cm). But we’ll talk about him another time.

I stopped my choice on seals that can be glued once and then not know any trouble for several years. But then a fundamental question arose: which is better – rubber or PVC and similar polyethylene foam with polyurethane? The market did not give me a sensible answer. So, I decided, I need to talk to representatives of the companies that manufacture these products. It turned out that there are not so many of them in Moscow. I managed to reach the representative office of the Swedish company Trelleborg, which offers Varnamo products, and the representatives of the German company Fomestrip. In addition, Chemlux brand sealant is sold on the Russian market. Alas, I was not lucky to find out the country of origin of this product: in one place the sellers claim that the Chemlux sealant is Finnish, in another it is German. Still others believe that it is produced in Poland. Here is such a mysterious story.

They say there is also a Russian company that produces polyethylene foam seals. But it was not possible to find out either its name or coordinates. Domestic seals are cheaper than imported ones. This is their undoubted plus. But, for example, I could not see Russian rubber seals on sale.

In some cases, PVC is even better than rubber: this material is more frost-resistant, less brittle, does not crumble or deform. But rubber is still rubber, and it wears out less (with the exception of a special PVC compound, which is not yet sold in its native state). And in general, our man trusts rubber somehow more. That is why rubber seals are in high demand in Moscow. Maybe foreign companies, obeying the whims of our taste, are forced to offer buyers mainly rubber? Although if you search, you can find PVC, and polyethylene foam, and polyurethane.

When purchasing rubber seals, you should choose the softest, since they are able to withstand repeated deformation. If you want to know exactly what you are buying (rubber, PVC, polyurethane, etc.), carefully read the labels on the packaging – it says it all. As for the color range of rubber gaskets, it is not rich: mainly white and brown gaskets.

There is a choice!

Another dilemma that I was trying to resolve: which seals to choose? Self-adhesive or ordinary? Of course, it is more convenient and faster to work with self-adhesive. I peeled off the protective film, glued the seal on the window – and you’re done! But there is one important nuance: you need to carefully read the expiration date of the glue on the packaging. If the period has expired, the gasket will either not stick at all, or will fall off soon. The self-adhesive option is safer, you just need to buy the right glue. One of the best adhesives is silicone sealant: it is not afraid of moisture and even when dry, it stretches and shrinks well. Such a sealant will keep the seal on a window or door when slammed repeatedly. Anything else to add about the glue? Oh yes! I do not recommend buying Turkish, because it is unreliable (in the sense that a seal glued with such glue will fall off faster). This is the opinion of professionals who are engaged in construction and repair. Therefore, it is better to buy a sealant made in Europe..

Keep this in mind. In Western Europe there is an international quality standard for enterprises (ISO). The highest is ISO 9001 (just below ISO 9002). Firms are issued a certificate confirming that the products of this enterprise “have passed the standardization and control in accordance with the quality standard SS EN ISO 90001”. If the company has such a certificate, then everything is in order. However, such information can be obtained only at a representative office, and by no means on the market. Market traders, most likely, have not heard about this at all, and you will not find this information on the packaging. For example: I managed to find out that the Varnamo seal complies with the ISO 9001 category, and its service life is calculated on average for 7-9 years (for the Moscow climate – at least 3-5 years).

What else influences the choice of a seal? Naturally, the size and shape of the gap that you need to close up. If it is even, then it is quite possible to use polyurethane foam, polyvinyl chloride, etc. seals that represent a rectangle in section. But it also happens: one and the same gap is wide in one place, and quite narrow in another. Then you cannot do without rubber seals. If you look at their cut, you will see that it resembles the Latin letters C, D, E, P, etc. These options are the most common, other “letters” are less common. Profile “D” is considered the most popular, because it can cover slots of 3-7 mm. In the Fomestrip firm it is sold at $ 15 per 100 m, in Varnamo at $ 16 per 100 m. But these are wholesale prices. In the Moscow markets, the “D” profile of the “Varnamo” company is sold at retail for 120 rubles. for 16 m (7.5 rubles per 1 m), and Chemlux for 9 rubles. for 1 running meter. In stores, the price for such seals is higher – 10-11 rubles. If somewhere you see higher prices, it means that these are already cheats..

Let me remind you again: an indicator of the quality of a rubber seal is primarily how soft the material from which it is made is. So do not be afraid to provoke the ire of the seller and carefully feel the samples on the market, choosing the softest. It is very important. And that’s why. For example, if the seals are tough enough, then somewhere they will close the gap properly, and in a narrower place they will not give the opportunity to tightly close the window (the seal simply will not shrink).

In addition, a high-quality sealant should “be able” to restore its original shape, even if it has been compressed for a long time (several months, for example). And it is also very important that the adhesive surface sticks really well (we have already spoken about the quality of the adhesive). Therefore, it is advisable to do this in a warm season. Moreover, experts advise to pre-wash, degrease and dry the work surface (in other words, the window frame). Subject to these rules, the seal will last you at least 5 years. In addition, dust and noise will be much less.

It is clear that it is better to worry about the future in advance, and not when the yard is already -15 ° C and there is a wild beater in the apartment. As a matter of fact, I did just that. I came to the firm, bought a high-quality self-adhesive sealant and, while there was a thaw, repaired the window cracks in the apartment according to all the rules. This took much less time than the previous manipulations with the plaster and paste. This method is also good because the window gaps are not “caulked” tightly, but are glued so that the windows can be opened (and closed) all year round.

A few tips for sealing windows

What should you do before you buy seals? First, inspect all available slots and measure their length and width. Surely there are narrow slits, and such that a finger will crawl through. Where the gap is narrow (2 – 3.5 mm), you need to stick a rubber self-adhesive gasket 9 mm wide and 4 mm high – a seal in the shape of the letter “E”. If the width of the seal turns out to be more than necessary, it can always be trimmed. Cutting off the top line from “E”, you get “C”.

But I want to warn you, “E” – insulation of “Varnamo” company – for some reason is called K-Profile. Keep this in mind when choosing your profiles. The price for 150 m of such a heater of the Fomestrip brand is $ 22.5, the Varnamo brand is $ 23.55. The main thing is that the height of the rubber gasket does not greatly exceed the size of the gap – by a maximum of 1 – 1.5 mm (the correspondence between the sizes of the gaps and gaskets offered by Varnamo is given in the table).

As for seals made of PVC, polyurethane, etc., the requirements are the same. But, as we have already said, such a seal is not curly, but looks like a rectangle in section. Therefore, its height can be increased by pasting the windows in two layers. In three or more layers I do not advise to paste over – there is no point. For large gaps, it is better to immediately purchase a rubber seal of the appropriate size (and “letters”).

How to glue the seals? This is not an idle question. So, you need to glue on the inside of the point of contact between the window and the window frame. Thus, it turns out that when we close the window, the seal will “cover the chest” the gap.

What would be more compact?

It turned out that seals can be used not only for window insulation. I remember I came to visit my friend. And she recently installed a metal door in the apartment. Such a wow door – quite metal and massive. But, I must say, the hostess worn out both me and all the household with remarks: “Quiet, don’t clap, neighbors are complaining!” Now I know what needs to be done so that you can slam the door as much as you like and at the same time silently! Guess what?

That’s right, you need a seal. You just need to choose the softest and thinnest one and stick it in several places between the door frame and the door itself. I have already done so. And one more piece of advice. At my house, the handle of the interior door was constantly balled on the polished cabinet door. Mom was indignant all the time that I, a slob, did not keep polishing, and wrapped the handle with a belt from an old dress! Scary, but supposedly reliable. There was no strength to look at this “design”. And I bought a special shock absorber. This is the same seal, or rather a piece of it, which is put on the handle. Does not tear, does not shaggy and looks pretty decent.

And the garage! How my husband and I suffered! Every winter the gate leaf stubbornly froze to the concrete sill. It melts a little – water accumulates between the gate and the floor. And it will freeze, you will not open it for anything. You are late for work, you can’t get to the car! Obviously, it got on my nerves badly. The chisel had to beat off the ice! Thank you, smart people advised: attach, they say, a special sealing gasket (it is held on the fastening nails). Now we do not know grief. Water is not poured anywhere, nothing freezes. The husband only cleans off the snow – and that’s it.

Gaskets for the bottom of garage doors are capable of deforming in different directions, they are usually more rigid than window seals and are never self-adhesive. The method of attaching such seals is indicated on the packaging..

Not only that: we still have a small piece of self-adhesive seal, so I sealed the door of the shoe box with it. Otherwise, we always have this box wide open! Well, I thought it would fall off in a week, because we open it several times a day. Nothing while holding on. As a last resort, if it starts to peel off, you can grab it with a small nail – and order! So these seals are not such a seasonal product. But on the market it is easier to buy it all the same in the fall and winter – they offer it at every step.

For doors, the same self-adhesive seals are quite suitable as for windows. But if you need a more serious seal, use tubular seals similar in section to the letter “O” with “tab”. O-shaped seals are attached with special brackets that are included with the kit, or with silicone glue.

How to buy seals correctly?

Rule 1. When choosing seals, carefully read the labels on the packaging. They will tell you what the salespeople cannot explain. For example, what exactly is this seal made of: rubber, PVC, polyurethane, polyethylene foam, etc. And also whether the expiration date of the glue has expired (if it is a self-adhesive sealant).

Rule 2. Carefully feel, touch, squeeze the seal. Your job is to make sure it is soft and resilient. If the seller swears and does not allow the product to be “squeezed”, immediately go to another dealer. Most likely, they want to slip you low-quality products. Or maybe the seller just got caught harmful. But it’s better not to risk it.

Rule 3. If you purchased a sealant that you need to stick on yourself, try to buy a reliable adhesive. Preferably a silicone sealant.

Rule 4. Before giving preference to any “letter” (seal profile), measure the dimensions of the slots that you have to seal. The “E” profile is suitable for gaps of 2–3.5 mm, the “P” profile is suitable for 3–5 mm gaps, the D profile is suitable for 3–7 mm gaps.

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