How To Seal a Drafty Door

Posted in Blog  
  on Oct 08, 2015

When the cold weather begins to come around, the colder air outside can sometimes slip through cracks in a drafty door. Instead of shoving a towel or blanket in front of it to guard against the cold, you can take these steps to make sure the door has been sealed. These steps can even be taken in most rental units.

1. Fill The Gap.

If you want to know how to seal a drafty door, then the job is pretty simple: you've got to fill the gap with something. The easiest product that can help you do that is a self-adhesive weather stripping product. There are numerous colors and sizes available at most hardware stores and retail chains. Make sure the area where the weather stripping will be affixed is clean, because otherwise the product will come off right away. To install the weather stripping, you'll need to measure the door frame. Then cut the weather stripping to match each horizontal and vertical section that needs to be filled. If you are putting the product around the entire door, don't be tempted to take a shortcut by just installing the stripping without cutting it. This creates curves at the corners of the door that can still allow a draft to come through.

2. Make Sure The Jamb Has Been Properly Sealed.

Sometimes you can actually see the gaps in the door that lead to the outside within the jamb itself. At other times you may need to remove some of the trim around the door to access this area for the repair. In this circumstance, expanding foams and caulks are generally your best solution. Use low expansion products because the triple expansion materials can actually disfigure the door jamb and worsen the problem. If you can't make an alteration to the property for some reason, then a short-term solution would be to fill those gaps with a removable material and then place the trim back in its place. It's like the towel in front of the door, but one that you don't have to replace every time you use the door. For small gaps, incense sticks or wooden wedges make for an easy to install solution.

3. Install a Brush At The Bottom Of The Door.

If the door does not properly fit the jamb for some reason, then the best solution might be to install a brush or sweeper at the bottom of the door. This installs much like weather stripping products do, but the difference is that there is a “shield” in place to block the drafts that try to come through. If bristles get bent or broken on this product it will not work effectively, so it may not be right for high traffic areas.

4. Don't Forget About The Duct Tape.

If you are not allowed to make any modifications to the property, then duct tape can be a handy tool to have. You can either apply the duct tape in layers to the door or frame to fill the gap that is letting the cold air in or use the tape to attach a brush. When it comes time to move out, you'll need to have a tape residue remover on-hand when you remove the item.

5. Don't Forget About The Bugs.

If there is a gap in your door during the colder months, then it isn't just the cold air that is a threat to the integrity of your home. Spiders and other insects begin moving toward the warmth when the weather changes and will exploit a gap in your door. You'll need to either apply a pest repellent or have a solid enough block in place to make sure the bugs can't get inside. A great solution for this is called a “threshold seal.” These will install outside of your door and are best suited for doors that open inward or lift straight up. As an added bonus, they will stop having puddles form around your door. You'll need to clean the area outside the door for a proper installation because an industrial level adhesive is used as part of the installation process. Knowing how to seal a drafty door could be as simple as rolling up a towel to place in front of it, but these steps will give you a more permanent solution. Once the job is completed, a door can be draft-free all season long.

Choose your preferred option, get your tools, and then enjoy a warm and pest-resistant home all winter long.


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