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Gaskets and tight seals for operable exterior panels?

user941025 | Posted in General Questions on

Hi all,

Any solutions for tight-sealing gaskets, weatherstripping, etc. for operable, close-able panels?

It crosses my mind, for this new construction I’m working on, referenced in another thread, that I might like to have an openable panel for cross-ventilation when needed, without the heat penalty of having another window.

So, for example, if I build an approx 2’x3′ removable-or-hinged insulated panel with an insect screen, and I want it to seal tightly when closed, where do I look for products to give me a good seal?


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  1. user941025 | | #1

    (By a good tight seal, I mean that this would pretty much only be worth it if there would be less penalty from air infiltration and heat loss here than what I'd get switching from the fixed window I'm considering to the awning version of that window. Otherwise, I'll just pick the operable window and use it in conjunction with the screen door.)

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    I would use a window. But if you insist that the panel have no glazing, you could either:
    1. Build it yourself, or
    2. Place a custom order at your local lumberyard for a small insulated steel door. Door manufacturers will sell you an entry door in any size you want -- even 2 ft. by 3 ft.

  3. user941025 | | #3

    Yes, and if I build it myself, which I'm considering, I'm asking how one would approach developing a good tight seal.

    Your idea to go with the window does have me thinking: I suppose I could buy a small casement on craigslist and sandwich the glazing between a couple layers of foam and a protective layer. All the operable parts would be in order if I did that.

  4. Mike Eliason | | #4

    hmmm... are you talking about vent panels?

    starting with a casement might be the way to go - though i'd remove the glass and add a fixed panel sandwiching foam (instead of sandwiching the glass in foam).

  5. user941025 | | #5

    yyyyyup. Sweet! Beautiful. Thanks, Mike!

    I agree with your point about the glass. I wonder how much clearance I'll have to sandwich a typical casement.

  6. Mike Eliason | | #6

    not that much - which is why i'd probably go with polyiso or vacupor for the insulation. in fact, i think this is one of the few places where vacupor actually makes sense (if building a high-performance window) - as the cost makes it difficult for me to justify elsewhere.

  7. user941025 | | #7

    Whoa, what? R-30/in? Is that for real? Can a man marry a rubber granulate-covered rigid foam insulation in America yet?

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