Weatherstripping a Door

This story shows how to apply weatherstripping to a door.

Sprucing Up an Entry Door with Trim

A door that is not well sealed allows a lot of heat to escape from the house through gaps around the sides and bottom. A variety of easy-to-install weatherstripping products can help solve the problem. A storm door will also help reduce heat loss and energy costs.

A typical door opens and closes thousands of times per year, so choose durable weatherstripping products that can be attached securely. Vinyl V-strip and self-stick foam, for instance, are suitable for a window but will probably not last on a door.

By using a combination of products, you can double the protection. For instance, seal a door along the sides and top by installing spring bronze for the edges of the door and outside gasket weatherstripping against the door's face on the outside. Weatherproof the bottom using a sweep on the door's inside face and a weatherstripping threshold or a door shoe on the bottom edge.

Prestart Checklist

Time
About an hour for most weatherstripping applications

Tools
Tape measure, knife, tin snips, hacksaw, drill, screwdriver, hammer, putty knife

Skills
Measuring and cutting, driving screws and nails

Prep
Make any needed repairs to the door and its frame.

Materials
Door weatherstripping products, which come with mounting screws or nails

Door sweep: Step 1

The quickest and easiest way to seal a leaky door bottom is with a sweep. Use tin snips or a hacksaw to cut the sweep to the full width of the door bottom.

Door sweep: Step 2

Close the door. Hold the sweep against the threshold but not so tight that it would make the door difficult to close. Drill pilot holes through the center of the holes and attach the sweep with screws. Test by opening and closing the door. Adjust the sweep up or down as needed.

Door shoe: Step 1

A door shoe seals more effectively than a sweep. If there is already enough room between the door's bottom and the threshold, simply cut and install the shoe (next step). If there is not enough room, measure and cut the door as needed.

Door shoe: Step 2

Slip the door shoe onto the door bottom and close the door. Adjust the shoe's position so its rubber gasket seals against the threshold. Drill pilot holes and drive screws to attach.

Sealing the edges and top: Spring bronze

To seal along the door's edge on the sides and top, spring bronze is the best product. Measure carefully and use tin snips to cut the pieces to fit. At the latch you may be able to cut a notch or you may need to cut a small piece that goes behind the latch. Position the pieces carefully and drive small nails to attach. If the door fits tightly, you may need to do some planning.

Sealing the edges and top: Metal gasket weatherstripping

To seal the door's sides and top from the outside, close the door. Use tin snips to cut pieces of metal outside gasket weatherstripping. Press lightly against the door and drive screws or nails to attach.

Sealing the edges and top: Wood-and-rubber gasket weatherstripping

Install wood-and-rubber outside gasket weatherstripping in the same way. Cut with a saw or tin snips and drive nails to attach.


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