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Guide to Weather Stripping Doors

The Old House Web

doorYou don'thave to be an experienced handyman to weather-strip your doors -- and reap the cost benefits.

Several types of weather-stripping areavailable for doors, each with its own level ofeffectiveness, durability and degree of installationdifficulty. From the options in the chartbelow, select the one you feel is best for you. Installation on the twosides and the top of a door are the same. A more durable method is used for thethreshold.

Consider installing storm doors to reduceair leakage around your doors. Weather-stripping qualitymakes a big difference in how well storm doors can dothis. Compare several types before deciding. 

The quality of locks, hinges andcatches should be evaluated since it can have a directeffect on durability and is a good indicator of overallconstruction quality.

Storm doors of wood or steelcan also be purchased within the same price range as the
aluminum variety. They have the same quality differencesand should be similarly evaluated. The choice between
doors of similar quality but different material isprimarily up to your own personal taste.

GUIDE TO WEATHER-STRIPPING**
Type Tools Evaluation Installation
*Adhesive backed foam Knife or shears
Tapemeasure
Extremely easy to install

Invisible when installed

Not very durable

More effective on doors than windows

Stick foam to inside face of jamb.
*Rolled vinyl with aluminum channel backing Hammer
Nails
Tin snips
Tape measure
Easy to install

Visible when installed

Durable

 
*Foam rubber with wood backing Hammer
Nails
Hand saw
Tape measure
Easy to install

Visible when installed

Not very durable

Nail strip snugly against the closeddoor.

Space nails 8 to 12 inches apart.

*Spring metal Tin snips
Hammer
Nails
Tape measure 
Easy to install

Invisible when installed

Extremely durable

Cut to length and tack in place.

Liftouter edge of strip with screwdriver after tacking forbetter seal. 

Interlocking metal channels Hack saw
Hammer
Nails
Tape measure
Difficult to install (alignment is critical)

Visible when installed

Durable but subject todamage, because they're exposed

Excellent seal.

Cut and fit strips to head of door first:male strip on door, female on head

Cut and fit strips to hinge side ofdoor: male strip on jamb, female on door

Cut and fit strips to lockside on door, female on jamb.

Fitted interlocking metal channels (J-strips)   Very difficult to install

Exceptionallygood weather seal

Invisible when installed

Not exposedto possible damage.

Should be installed by a carpenter. Notappropriate for do-it-yourself installation unless doneby an accomplished handyman.
Sweeps Screwdriver
Hack saw
Tape measure
Useful for flat thresholds, may drag oncarpet or rug. Cut sweep to fit 1/16 inch in from theedges of the door.

Some sweeps are installed on theinside and some outside. Check instructions for yourparticular type.

Door Shoes Screwdriver
Hack saw
Plane
Tapemeasure
Useful with wooden threshold that is notworn

Very durable

Difficult to install (must remove door)

Remove door and trim required amount offbottom.

Cut to door width.

Install by sliding vinyl out,and fasten with screws.

Vinyl bulb threshold Screwdriver
Hack saw
Plane
Tape measure
Useful where there is no threshold orwooden one is worn out

Difficult to install

Vinyl willwear, but replacements are available.

Remove door and trim required amount offbottom.

Bottom should have about 1/8" bevel to sealagainst vinyl.

Be sure bevel is cut in right directionfor opening.

Interlocking threshold    Very difficult to install

Exceptionallygood weather seal.

Should be installed by a skilledcarpenter.

Install by moving sash to the open positionand sliding strip in between the sash and the channel.

Tack in place into the casing.

Do not cover the pulleysin the upper channels. 

*Easiest methods for novice  ** Chart based on information from Michigan State University

Information provided by Michigan StateUniversity

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