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Windows and Doors

How to Install Weatherstripping on Doors

Friday, December 2 2016 8:55 AM

Saving money on energy bills will never go out of style. Whether a door is old and drafty or worn weatherstripping just needs updated, energy-wasting air leaks can be minimized with a quick fix.

Adding weatherstripping to your doors is one of the easiest ways to cut your heating and cooling costs. Sealing air leaks around doors and windows is a good way to stay comfortable and prevent cold air from entering your home.

What is Weatherstripping?

Weatherstripping is a sealing that is placed around movable components such as windows, doors, and garage doors. The main goal of weatherstripping is to keep wind and moisture outside, while keeping heat or air conditioning inside, saving on energy costs and improving efficiency.

Types of Weatherstripping For Doors

  1. Metal is durable and is generally used to reinforce other types of weatherstripping.

  2. Felt is inexpensive, but shouldn’t be used where there’s moisture or exposure to weather. It will need to be replaced every couple of years.

  3. Foam is inexpensive but not the most durable, so it should only be used for doors that aren’t used often.

  4. Vinyl is more expensive, but it’s resistant to moisture. It’s generally attached to metal weatherstripping for stability.

  5. U-Shaped door sweeps slide under the door and have multiple fins that keep out air. This type of weatherstripping can also protect the bottom of your door from rot, rust, bugs, etc.

  6. Metal door sweeps screw into the bottom of the door and have one rubber barrier.

Installing Weatherstripping on a Door

First, clean the inside and outside of the door, removing as much dirt and debris as possible. Run a paint stripper along the door jamb to remove any flaking paint. Check for nails that need to be removed while you do this.

Most doors will already have grooves on each side of the frame, but if your door doesn’t already have grooves in place, they will need to be cut out with a grooving tool to create additional room for the weatherstripping to fit into.

Once the prep work is done, close the door and measure the gap between the door and jamb on both sides and at the top, then measure the gap between the door and the stop at the bottom.

Now you’re ready to buy the weatherstripping. Choose a width that's big enough to fill the largest gap on each side.

To install the weatherstripping, cut it to the correct length and insert it into the grooves on both side jambs and the head jamb. Be careful to not stretch the weatherstripping while it’s being placed, as this will create gaps that will reduce energy efficiency. To finish, drive the weatherstripping into its slot with a spline roller, then shut the door from the outside and look for gaps.

To install a door sweep, measure the bottom of the door to ensure that the door sweep is the correct length. If not, use a saw or utility knife to cut it down to the correct size. Mark on the door where the screws are to be placed, then use a drill to create pilot holes. Once the holes are set, insert the screws halfway and then open and close the door to test it. If the door closes with ease, simply tighten the screws to complete the installation.

To install a U-Shaped door sweep, simply open your door and slide the sweep onto the bottom of the door. If the sweep is too long, just mark it with a pencil and cut it down to size with a saw. Make sure the portion of the door sweep that has holes is positioned on the interior side of the door. For added strength, you can drill holes and add screws to the interior side and bottom of the sweep if you wish.

Installing weatherstripping is a fast, inexpensive way to keep the cold out of your home and lower your energy costs this winter, so go ahead and give it a try.

Previous: How to Add Weatherstripping to Windows Next: Should I Buy an Insulated Garage Door?

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