How to Replace an Exterior Door's Bottom Sweep


Besides being an architectural point of interest for dwelling units, exterior doors also provide insulating value for the home. A door sweep is an added feature to an exterior door that protects the bottom of the door from air infiltration and keeps moisture from entering the home in the form of snow or rain. As a home ages, door sweeps wear out and need to be replaced — something that anyone who can handle the weight of the door can accomplish.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Small container
  • Door sweep
  • Saw (optional)
  • Caulk (optional)
  • Close the door and look for the hinges. Exterior doors have hinges on the inside portion of the door. Use a screwdriver and hammer to punch out the pins that sit inside the hinges. Remove the door.

  • Rest the door against a wall or place it on a flat surface. If your door is metal, slide out the old door sweep. Alternatively, if the sweep has screws, loosen them and place them into a cup or bowl.

  • Take the old door sweep to a home-improvement store and match it with a replacement. Look for a universal door sweep that wraps around the bottom of the door in a "U" shape if you can't find the same kind of sweep that you are replacing.

  • Replace the door sweep. Slide on the new sweep or screw it into place, depending on the style of your door. If you purchased a universal door sweep, run a thin bead of caulk at the bottom of both sides of the door and tap the sweep into place or slide it on from the edge of the door.

  • Place the door back on the hinges and replace the pins, tapping them into place with the hammer.

Tips & Warnings

  • A standard exterior door measures 36 inches wide. If your door is wider, you may need to special-order a door sweep or buy two door sweeps and cut one to fit.
  • Many door sweeps are made from plastic that you can easily cut with a saw.

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