Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Prevent Drafts on Entry Doors

One of the most wonderful things about living in Colorado is the year round sun shine.  But once the days get short and the snow moves in, it can get incredibly cold.  Not to worry, we live in a modern house, capable of keeping the cold out and the warm in . . . or can it?


The problem I most often see is not that the doors are warn out or even of poor quality, but rather that they are out of adjustment or have never been adjusted at all.  Check a few key locations and you can make sure your doors are keeping out the cold like they should.

Check the threshold of our doors:  With the door closed, look for light creeping in under the sweep.  This can many times be remedied by just adjusting the threshold.

1.  Gently pry off the screw caps from the 3 or 4 screws along the center of the threshold
2.  Use a screwdriver (usually a flat head, but not always) to adjust the threshold up or down as needed.  Keep closing the door to inspect for visible light.
3.  Replace the caps

Light is visible under the door


Gently pry off the caps

Adjust the height of the threshold by turning the screw

Add an optional draft sealer
If you feel cold air or see light coming in around the sides or top of the door, check your weather stripping.  If it's torn, warn out or hard (it should be soft and pliable) then replace it with new stripping.  Just pry out the old weather seal from the slot that has been milled along the edges of the frame.  Take this to your local big box hardware store and ask for a replacement.  Then just push the new strips in by hand.  You may have to cut them shorter with a pair of scissors, but be careful not to cut them too short.  If you can't seem to get the flange back into the slot, try using a 2" putty knife to put pressure along the rigid back side but be careful not to tear the soft portion that does the sealing.

Replace damaged weather seals
If your door is an older style that does not allow for the weather seal to be replaced or if you still have gaping, you can purchase a thicker weather seal with an adhesive back and place it where you need it.  Be thoughtful about how you install this though as it's not very attractive if it is visible from the exterior when the door is closed

Have you tried replacing the seals or adjusting your threshold?
How did it go?

The beautiful photo at the top of this blog was provided by R.Nial.Bradshaw and was downloaded from flicker.com as part of their creative commons project.

4 comments:

  1. I have an idea to eliminate the draft. This can be difficult, depending on the construction, but you can pull off the trim around the door and insulate between the door jamb and the wall. Then when you replace the trim, run a bead of caulk down it between the trim and the wall.

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  2. It's very true that once the days get short and the snow moves in, it can get incredibly cold in Colorado. Great post
    DMV.Roofs :)

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