How to Fix a Drafty Door

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Your energy savings will typically reimburse the full cost of weather-stripping


        materials within a year, and it's easy to install yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning Supplies
  • V-shaped Vinyl Weather-stripping Fasterners
  • Caulk And Applicator
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape Measure
  • Hacksaw, tin snips, woodcutting
  • Weather-stripping (sweep, door bottom or threshold type)

Seal the doorsill

  • Measure the width of your door and cut the weather-stripping (sweep, door bottom or threshold type) to length. Depending on the material, use a fine metal-cutting blade in a hacksaw, tin snips, a woodcutting saw or a utility knife.

  • For a sweep (see A), close the door and position the sweep so it contacts the sill. For a door bottom (see B), verify that the gap under the door is within the prescribed limits; open the door to slide on a U-shaped door bottom and close it, or position an L-shaped one on the closed door. For a threshold (see C), notch it to fit against the side jambs when its gasket is centered under the door.

  • Mark the mounting-hole locations (usually slotted) on the door for a sweep or door bottom, and on the sill for a threshold. (Remove the gasket to access the screws.)

  • Remove a threshold to caulk under it unless it has vinyl seals in its feet, then reposition it.

  • Install screws in the center of any slotted mounting holes, and adjust the sweep or door bottom before driving in the screws.

Seal the jambs

  • For peel-and-stick V-shaped vinyl, thoroughly clean the surface where you're applying the product. Position the product according to the diagram on the package, mark and cut pieces to length, and notch the one for the strike side to fit around the door strike.

  • Install the vinyl with the specified fasteners, which may include tacks, staples, 4d finishing nails or just an adhesive backing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you buy a threshold with a gasket, get the adjustable type. Otherwise it's difficult to achieve a precise fit.
  • To make it easier to start a screw without marring the door, start the hole with an awl or drill a pilot hole.
  • Miter the corners of spring-metal and V-strip weather-stripping so that they don't interfere with each other, and test-fit the two pieces before installing either one.

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