Exterior Door Weatherstripping: An inexpensive alternative  to replacing your Front door

Exterior Door Weatherstripping: An inexpensive alternative to replacing your Front door

Jaishree Knauff

If you have older doors , chances are you're familiar with the pesky issue of gaps caused by house settling and door warping. The door doesn’t quite make contact with the standard inserted weatherstripping around the door. Or Perhaps, you don’t have a built in kerf in your door jamb to allow the weatherstrip to be inserted. In either case,  you are dealing with   cold drafts in winter and the intrusion of heat and unwanted pests in summer. A good test is if you can see daylight streaming through the door.

 Replacing the entire door and frame can be a costly affair, running into hundreds of dollars just for materials, not to mention labor costs pushing the total into the thousands.

 So how do you get a seal between the door and the frame without breaking the bank? The answer is through an exterior door insulation kit as it will allow a good seal on just about any door even if the door has a slight warp. 

 This kit comes with screws, 2 long strips (one for each side of the door) and 1 strip for the top of the door. It has a large v shaped foam filled insulator that allows flexibility  and pushes slightly against the door to provide a better seal. An aluminum backer with screw holes every few inches holds the foam in place. It can fill the gap between the door and frame  of up to 3/8”

 Here's a step-by-step guide to installing the weatherstripping kit:

  1.  Measure and Prepare: Start by measuring the dimensions of your door frame to determine the length of weatherstripping material needed. Clean the door and frame to ensure a smooth surface for installation.
  2. Choose the Weatherstripping Material: Based on your needs and preferences, select the appropriate weatherstripping material. Available options are rubber, vinyl and foam and each have their own advantages. In general foam is more flexible and pushes slightly against the door to provide a better seal.  An additional choice of foam material is open cell vs. closed cell. Open cell has more airy cell structure and is therefore lighter on more flexible.  Closed cell foam tends to be dense and less pliable. Closed cell foam weatherstripping can be a better insulator but might make it harder to close the door. 
  3. Cut the Weatherstrip: Using the measurements from step one, carefully cut the weatherstripping material to the appropriate length. It's important to have clean, straight cuts for a proper seal.
  4. Install the Weatherstrip : Begin by attaching the weatherstrip to the top of the door frame. Use screws to attach aluminum holder to your  door frame. Continue installing the weatherstripping along the sides  ensuring a tight fit.
  5. Test the Seal:  Close the door and inspect for any remaining gaps or areas where daylight seeps through. A properly installed door weatherstripping kit should immediately eliminate drafts and prevent daylight from entering.

Once installed, you'll immediately feel the difference – drafts are eliminated, making your home comfortable in both winter and summer. No more uninvited bugs or insects sneaking in, and don't forget the added bonus of energy savings.


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