A door without properly installed weatherstripping is a major drag on your heating or air conditioning system. Without good weatherstripping, air can pass freely through the gaps between the door and the door jambs.
Luckily, learning to install door weatherstripping is a fairly easy process, and will ensure your doorway is completely sealed off with no leaks. While it’s not a complicated process, you’ll want to make sure you follow every step carefully, because any gaps left after installation will nullify the entire effort.
I’ll break down how to install door weatherstripping – so you can save some money on your energy bills.
Tools & Materials
- Tape Measure
- Weatherstripping and bumper threshold
Installing Weather Stripping on Door – Guide
There are a wide array of weatherstripping products you can get for your door, so you can typically find one that suits the look you’re going for. These products differ somewhat in their materials, appearance, and cost, and you can usually cut them to fit your particular door.
Step 1: Remove Old Stripping and Clean
If you have old weatherstripping that starting to fall apart, as I did, then you’ll need to get rid of the old stuff first. Use a screwdriver or drill to remove the old screws from the weatherstripping from the door jamb and the door sill.
Once that’s done, you may find a buildup of dirt and debris behind the old weatherstripping. Clean this up with an old rag or sponge.
Step 2: Examine and Tighten Door Hinges
Before you start measuring and installing your door weatherstripping, it’s important to examine your door’s hinges and see if they are loose.
Open the door and lift it upward by the doorknob and see if the door moves upward at all. If it does, your door is loose and you’ll need to take a closer look at the condition of the hinges.
Examine the hinges to see if they are fastened snugly to the door jambs and the door itself. Also, check the hinge screws and check to see if any of them is loose as well.
If this is the case, you can use the toothpick and wood glue method to refill the worn-out screw holes.
When the door hinges are mounted properly it’s time to start installing the door’s weatherstripping.
Step 3: Measure the Door Jambs
At this point, you’ll want to measure both the side jambs and the top jamb and take note of these measurements.
Additionally, you’ll want to measure the small gap between the door and jamb to ensure you’ll have enough space to install the weatherstripping.
You’ll want to purchase enough weatherstripping to mount on both sides of the door, as well as the top jamb. For the bottom, you’ll need to use a slightly different type of weatherstripping, either a door shoe, a door sweep, or a bumper threshold like the one I installed.
Step 4: Cut your Weatherstripping into Sections
Using the measurement from the previous step, cut two equal length pieces for each side of the door, and another one for the top. Use a hacksaw to cut through the wood, plastic, or aluminum body, and a pair of scissors or shears to cut the soft foam-like part.
Test the fit to make sure you’re pieces will fit properly before you install them permanently.
You’ll also want to test that the door completely seals against the weatherstripping when you close the door. You want the foam-like section to be pushed back slightly and completely in contact with the door with no visible gaps.
Step 5: Fasten the Weatherstripping in Place
Fastening the weatherstripping will depend somewhat on the particular design. Wood weatherstripping can be fastened with a few small nails through the wood flange.
Aluminum and plastic weatherstripping typically have screw holes built into them for fastening. Use a drill driver to and small screws to fasten them in place.
Step 6: Prepare the Bottom Section
As mentioned previously, there are several different options when it comes to sealing off the bottom of the door.
Door Bottom Weatherstripping Types:
You can go with a door sweep, which is essentially a metal strip with a flexible plastic skirt that seals off the bottom of the door from the elements. These are installed on the outside of an exterior-facing door and are the easiest type to install.
A door shoe is similar to a door sweep, but instead of mounting to the outside of the door, it fits around both the inside and outside edge of the door.
To install a door shoe, you may need to remove the door from the frame, so installation is a bit more complex. However, with that, you also get a better quality seal than a door sweep, as a door shoe features multiple soft plastic layers to seal off the door.
Lastly, you can go with a bumper threshold, which is essentially a solid aluminum or wood bumper mounted to the door sill that seals against the door when it’s closed. Unlike the other two types, it doesn’t mount to the door itself, but rather to the door sill. This makes them fairly easy to install and also makes them a good option for fiberglass or metal doors that are more difficult to drill into.
You’ll want to measure the width of the door sill and write this down for the next step.
Step 7: Cut Bottom Section
Like the other weatherstripping installed above, you’ll want to cut the bottom weatherstripping with a hacksaw or other small-toothed saw. Use scissors to cleanly cut the plastic sealer section.
Step 8: Install Bottom Section
Lastly, hold the bottom section in place and test it for fit. If it fits, then mount it in place with the included screws.
When everything is installed, test out the door to make sure it’s completely sealed. Open and close it several times and ensure that the door comes in contact with the foam or plastic sealant. Look for any gaps that may need to be sealed by adjusting the weatherstripping position.