DIY: How to Install Weather Stripping

christmas door

As we mentioned in last week's post, Top 10 Tips for Home Maintenence This Fall, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase your home's energy efficiency and reduce your utility bill is to properly seal your windows and doors before winter gets into full swing. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to install weather stripping around YOUR door.

Products you'll need:

  • Vinyl-reinforced aluminum weather seals for the top, left, and right sides of your doorframe. You can usually buy them together as a kit.
  • Compression foam weather stripping.
  • Door sweep.

Tools you'll need:

tools

  • Hacksaw to cut through aluminum
  • Utility knife to cut through vinyl
  • Tape measure to make sure everything is cut to size and will create a tight fit
  • Drill driver or hammer–depends on the weather seals and door sweep you buy

The How-To's

  1. Remove any old weather seals and stripping from the doorstop (this includes seals mounted to the doorstop itself, as well as any foam weather stripping between the seals and doorstop).
  2. Measure the top of the doorstop. Cut the top weather seal to fit (use a hacksaw to cut the aluminum, and a utility knife to make a clean cut on the vinyl). With the door closed and latched, fit the vinyl-reinforced aluminum seal along the top of the doorstop so that it sits flat against the door.
  3. Before screwing or nailing in the top seal, attach a strip of compression foam weatherstripping to the back of the seal. This will ensure that no cold air sneaks in behind it.
  4. Once the top seal is installed, open the door to measure for the side seals. Measure from the threshold up to the top weather seal you've just installed. Once again,when cutting the seals to size use a hacksaw to cut the aluminum and a utility knife to cut the vinyl.
  5. Just as with the top seal, fit each side seal with the door closed and latched, checking that it fits properly and sits flat against the door. Attach strips of compression foam weatherstripping to the backs of these seals as well, mount them, then attach to the doorstop.
  6. Remove your old door sweep if you have one, and measure the bottom of the door so that you can cut your new door sweep to size. Attach the sweep to the inside of your door with only two screws first and check to see that the door opens and closes properly without getting caught on the floor or rug. Make any necessary adjustments, and complete the installation.

Now your door is airtight and ready to keep you and your family safe from the cold winter winds (and your wallet safe from unnecessary energy costs)!