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Weatherstripping reduces cold air entering your home around doors

Home Maintenance Tip: Replace Your Door Weatherstripping

Posted on October 16, 2015

If you feel cool air entering your house around your exterior doors in the fall or winter, you likely need to replace or adjust your door weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is attached to the door stop. The door stop is attached to the door jamb and keeps doors from swinging all the way through. Exterior doors close against the weatherstripping forming a seal to keep out cool air in the winter and warm air in the summer.

Weatherstripping reduces drafts and therefore increases comfort. A 1/8” crack all the way around an exterior door is equivalent to a 6” square hole in your door. Sealing air leaks around doors and windows saves energy and can reduce heating and cooling costs by 10% to 30%. Weatherstripping also helps to block outside noise making for a quieter indoor environment.

Because of exposure to weather conditions and age, weatherstripping deteriorates over time. When this happens, weatherstripping loses its grip, becomes dry, brittle or misshapen and no longer fills the gap. Also, weatherstripping can be damaged by pets and pests. Weatherstripping may not have been installed correctly. Doors may not close tightly against the weatherstripping and the door may need to be adjusted.

Inspect weatherstripping for exterior doors at least once a year. If you can feel cool air entering around your doors on a windy day, the weatherstripping needs to be replaced or adjusted.

Weatherstripping can be purchased at hardware stores and big box home improvement stores. There are numerous types of weatherstripping that come in varying depths and widths. It is best to choose a type that will hold up over time and through various weather conditions. Weatherstripping that is cheaper and easier to install will usually not last as long and will need to be replaced sooner. Ask a store clerk for help you with your selection. Take a sample of the weatherstripping currently in your door along with a photograph of your door stop to the store with you.

To replace weatherstripping for exterior doors with kerfs (grooves) in the door stop, follow these guidelines:

  • Remove all old weatherstripping.
  • Make sure the entire kerf (groove) is consistent and clear all the way around the door.
  • Measure and cut the weatherstripping to fit across the top door stop. Make sure that you don’t cut the weatherstripping too short.
  • Install the weatherstripping into the kerf (groove) at the top of the door stop.
  • Repeat for the left and right sides of the door.
  • Make sure that the door closes snugly.
  • Adjust the door jamb latch plate, if necessary so that the door closes firmly against the door stop.

If you aren’t sure what type of weatherstripping to purchase or if you are feeling overwhelmed, hire a handyman to help you with your door weatherstripping.


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