How to Seal the Bottom of an Entry Door

Written by emily beach
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Unsealed space under an entry door can allow cold air to enter your home, causing uncomfortable drafts. This type of gap can also reduce the energy efficiency of your home, leading to higher heating bills. Fortunately, most DIY homeowners will find that sealing the bottom of an entry door is a relatively simple task that can pay off big in terms of improved comfort and cost savings.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Threshold
  • Door sweep
  • Screwdriver
  • Automatic door bottom
  • Router
  • Drill
  • Weatherstripping

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Instructions

    Sealing a Door Bottom

  1. 1

    Add a threshold to your door. This device is made of wood or metal, and is installed on the floor at the base of your door. Simply screw the threshold into the floor using screws or masonry fasteners, depending on what your floor is made of. Choose a unit that will not pose a trip hazard for your family, and don't worry if there is still a space left under the door after the threshold is installed.

  2. 2

    Install a door sweep. Sweeps are made from vinyl or nylon, and are installed along the exterior side of the door. Choose a sweep that is long enough to meet the threshold without dragging too much on the surrounding floor. Vinyl units are more effective, but tend to crack over time, especially in colder regions. Nylon brush units don't seal the door as well, but are less likely to fail. Simply place the sweep at the base of your door and use screws to fasten it to the exterior face of the door.

  3. 3

    Seal the bottom corners of the door with weatherstripping. While sweeps and thresholds will close the air gap below your door, cold air can still enter the home along the corners and sides of the door. Add stick-on weatherstripping between the door and frame to minimise this problem. Use a single length for each jamb and for the head of the frame, and make sure that the weatherstripping fits tightly between the door and frame when the door is closed.

    Automatic Door Bottoms

  1. 1

    Consider an automatic door bottom instead of a simple door sweep. Sweeps are often problematic because they drag along the carpet of floor. This can be annoying, and can also cause the sweep to deteriorate fairly quickly. An automatic door bottom is a sweep that recesses inside the door when the door is opened, then snaps down to cover air gaps when the door is closed.

  2. 2

    Choose a unit that's the same width as your door. Router out a space at the bottom of the door based on the unit that you've chosen. The majority of door bottoms will come with instructions on how wide this channel needs to be. Once you've created the proper cut-out, slide the door bottom into the base of the door.

  3. 3

    Open and close the door a few times. The push button on the automatic door bottom will create a slight indentation on the door frame. Drill a hole into this indentation and install the push button catch that comes with your door bottom. It will usually just pop into the frame by hand, though some may be screwed in.

  4. 4

    Examine the edge of the automatic door bottom device. You'll find two screws, which are used for adjusting the sweep. Turn the top screw until the sweep touches the threshold, then turn the bottom screw until the sweep is level across its length. Cover the two sides of the door bottom with the unit's end caps to complete the project.

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