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About shower door sweeps

The shower door sweep is a small and rarely seen door part that keeps shower water from leaking out of the running shower. If a bathroom floor is wet or has pools of water after a shower, the shower door sweep may be worn or missing. This water seeping can cause injury and home damage.

Function

A swinging or hinged shower door has a small flexible strip at the bottom of the shower door. This strip sweeps across the gap between the door and the shower doorway. When the door is closed and the shower is running, the shower door sweep closes the bottom gap to prevent water from leaking out. It can be replaced when it becomes damaged and allows water leaks.

Types

Shower door sweeps are made of rubber, polycarbonate or vinyl. Each shower door type may have a different sweep than other types. There are slight variations in the material, the way the sweep is installed, the width and the length. Some have a bulb, flat or star-shaped top that fits in the door track. Others have a T top or are moulded to a snap-on rail. Sweep colours are usually black, grey or clear.

Features

Repairing or replacing most shower door sweeps is a simple project. They may slide in and out of a track easily. Sometimes the sweep is held in place by one or two screws that can be removed to let the sweep slide out of the door. Some shower doors are frameless panes of glass. On their bottom edge is a single piece bottom shower door rail that snaps onto the door bottom. The door sweep is part of the rail.

Benefits

A properly installed shower door sweep offers safety and prevents damage. Replacing the worn or missing shower door sweep blocks water from running onto the bathroom floor. Soapy water is slippery and causes people to slip or fall. Leaking water can seep into floor joints and walls causing water damage or rot. If this excess water is not promptly mopped up, it may create mould or mildew that aggravates allergies or respiratory problems. The shower door sweep is designed to solve these problems.

Considerations

Shower door sweeps are not identical. The easiest way to find a suitable replacement is to remove the worn or damaged sweep. Take the original sweep to a home improvement or hardware store to match it with a new part. Some shower doors also have a model number that can be used to find the right part. Most shower door manufacturers have guidelines for sweep replacements. The replacements should be identical to the original. Follow directions on the replacement packaging for proper trim and fit.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.