Tom Shafer

6 steps to ending entry door drafts

December 18, 2012

If winter winds are slipping into your home through the front door, it's time to replace the bottom weatherstripping. New weatherstripping is available from hardware and home improvement stores. In half an hour's time and at a cost of about $10, you can stop the airflow from under your entry door and tighten up your home against cold drafts.

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6 steps to tighten entry door against drafts

1. Remove the door from the opening by removing the hinge pins. These are the pins that go through the holes in the hinges and hold the two sections of the hinge together. When the pins are out, pull the door free and either lie it on its side against the door opening, or place it horizontally across two saw horses.

2. Remove the old strip by simply pulling it off. It may be stapled or nailed in several locations or even glued. You might need a pair of pliers to pull the hinges or a chisel to peel all of the adhesive away from the door.

3. Most of these replacement weatherstripping pieces are made at 36-inch lengths. Some doors, especially rear doors, are 32 inches. Measure your door; mark the weatherstripping to the proper length. Cut with a sharp knife or even a pair of scissors.

4. When you have determined the inside/outside direction of the replacement strip, hold it against bottom of the door checking the direction and the fit. If the fit is correct, you are ready to secure it to the door.

5. Run a bead of good construction adhesive along the bottom of the door. I use Lock-tite General Purpose Construction Adhesive. Place the weatherstripping on the door, slide it back and forth a couple times to evenly disperse the adhesive. The adhesive also seals against water intruding between the weatherstripping and the door. Staple or nail through the weatherstripping into the door in four or five places. Make sure the nails are totally flush with the weatherstripping.

6. Pick up the door, position the hinges together and replace the pins. Check the operation of the door; it will be harder to close.

This easy procedure can be done on all of your entrance doors. You can realize immediate rewards when winter cold no longer intrudes.

About the Author

Tom Shafer has decades of experience in window sales, marketing and product development. He's worked closely with window design engineers in testing, design, and building code interpretation. Past employers include United Windows and Doors and Norandex, MI Windows. He currently works at a home improvement retailer.

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