How to Weatherstrip a Door

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Weatherstripping your exterior doors has the added benefit of keeping dust out.
Weatherstripping your exterior doors has the added benefit of keeping dust out. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

If your energy bills seem sky-high, you may have gaps around your door that allow the cold air to come in and mingle with the air you are paying to heat. You can probably feel the air coming in just by putting your hand near the door. Seal your home by adding weatherstripping. Door sweeps attach to the bottom of the door and vinyl tubing goes along the sides and the top. Installing weatherstripping is easy for a do-it-yourselfer and requires only a small outlay of cash.

Things You'll Need

  • Door sweep
  • Vinyl weatherstripping with metal flange
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Masking tape
  • Drill

Seal the Bottom

Purchase a door sweep from a building supply or hardware store. The sweep should be at least as wide as your door.

Measure the width of the door and cut the sweep to the same size. Cut the vinyl portion with a utility knife and the metal edge with a hacksaw.

Close the door and lay the sweep against the door. The bottom of the metal edge should line up with the bottom of the door. The vinyl portion hangs below and touches the floor. Secure it in place with masking tape.

Drill pilot holes where the screws will go and screw the sweep to the door with the hardware provided. Open the door to make sure the sweep is working correctly. Adjust it up or down if necessary.

Seal the Sides and the Top

Close the door and measure the length of the door.

Measure the weatherstripping to the same length. The tubular style has a metal flange with a vinyl tube attached. Cut the vinyl portion with a utility knife and the metal flange with a hacksaw.

Place the metal edge of the weatherstripping along the molding around the door. Drill pilot holes in the molding and then drill screws in the holes to keep the weatherstripping in place. Repeat the process for the other side of the door. When in place, the vinyl tubing sits against the door edge and keeps the air out.

Measure the width of the door at the top. The measurement will be narrower than that at the bottom of the door now that the weatherstripping is installed on both sides.

Cut the weatherstripping and attach it to the top of the door frame. Drill pilot holes in the molding and then drill screws in the holes to keep the weatherstripping in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut the sweep so the rough edge installs on the hinge side of the door. This avoids cut ankles and feet.
  • Weatherstripping is also available in self-stick style. This doesn't require any screws, but typically does not last as long as the type with the metal flange.

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