Drafts No More: How To Add Weatherstripping to Your Doors

Drafts No More: How To Add Weatherstripping to Your Doors

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Ashley Poskin
Oct 28, 2017
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

It's inevitable – unless you take this time to escape to warmer climates, those cold winds will find you this winter. To help keep your home cozy (and your energy bills from skyrocketing) add foam weatherstripping around your windows and doors. It's a good idea if you live in a newer home, but a must if you live in an older home with drafty doors and windows.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Before purchasing your supplies, measure any gaps between the door jamb and the actual door. If there is a narrow gap, be sure to purchase a thinner foam so your door will actually shut when closed.

What You Need

Materials

Tools

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors

For windows, you can use a similar sealing foam.

Instructions

Clean around the door jamb with soap and water. Be sure to clear away any chipping paint, dirt, or any residue left behind by previous years' weatherstripping.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Measure the length and width of the door jamb and cut strips of foam for each. Roll the foam down the door, pressing lightly as you go. Remember, once the foam sticks to an area it's pretty difficult to remove it and re-apply, so try to be as accurate as possible!

If you have a gap at one end of the door but not the other, try to tighten the hinges on your door. If the hinges are loose, this could solve the problem without needing any additional weatherstripping. We tried this with our door, but it didn't solve the problem, so we cut a length of foam to fit the area with the gap.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Next, you'll want to install a door sweep. We used a vinyl adhesive sweep that could be easily cut to size with scissors.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

After you've cleaned the area well with soap and water and let it dry completely, measure the length and cut the vinyl sweep to fit.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Carefully stick the sweep in place, making sure the bottom rests snug against the threshold.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

The last step is to add a draft stopper. There are lots of great tutorials on how to DIY draft stoppers, but if you're looking for a quick fix, we like this one. It's super affordable, comes in different colors, and it can arrive at your front door the next day!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Tips

  • If you can see daylight between the cracks in your door, you have an air leak. If you can't see daylight, but can feel a draft, try the smoke test. Check out this video for details on how to perform a smoke test.
  • Be sure to keep the doorway clean, free of debris that could be brought in by your newly installed door sweep
  • Tighten the hinges on your door to be sure it's hanging correctly and not causing any unnecessary gaps that air could leak through. If the hinges are tight and you still feel a draft, you'll need to apply weatherstripping to keep the cold air out.

What steps are you taking to prepare your house for colder weather?

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