Weatherproofing an entrance door can go a long way to keeping the house comfortable, whether it's summer or winter. Most drafts coming from doors occur from poorly fitting doors. Weather stripping, backer rods or draft guards for doors can help reduce the amount of hot or cold air coming into a home. Filling gaps with door insulation will also help close up any gaps between the frame and the door itself.
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Things you need
- Insulation tape (optional)
- Backer rod (optional)
- Caulk and gun (optional)
- Weather stripping (optional)
- Draft guard (optional)
- Straight edge ruler (optional)
Close the door and look for any gaps during daylight hours. If you can see daylight anywhere around the door, there are gaps in the weather stripping. If the weather stripping is intact and daylight still shines through, use insulation tape to seal the gaps.
Clean the surface of the door where the insulation tape will be used. Cut the tape to fit the part of the door that needs to be insulated and remove the tape. Apply the insulating tape to the door frame in front of or behind the existing weather stripping. Press it firmly to the door frame.
Install a backer rod if there are big gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor, in addition to adding insulating tape. This step is easiest to do with the door on the hinges and closed to get the optimal horizontal placement near the bottom of the door.
Measure the width of the door and cut the backer rod to fit if it is too long. The backer bar is placed near the bottom of the door on the inside of the home and needs to barely clear the floor to effectively prevent drafts from entering the house.
Hold the backer bar near the bottom of the closed door and mark where it will just clear the flooring with a pencil in two or three places. Using a straight edge ruler, draw a line to follow when you apply the caulk that will hold the rod in place.
Apply a thin bead of caulk to the door where the top of the rod will sit and place the backer rod on the bead. Press firmly and allow the caulk to set.
Place a draft guard at the bottom of the door to stop drafts from coming inside. Few doors are completely airtight, and the draft guards block incoming air, especially when the wind is blowing.
Tips and warnings
- Installing a storm door in a very cold climate will create a barrier between the front door and the frigid temperatures outdoors.
- If you live in a hot climate and have a window in the door, cover it with a curtain to block the heat from the sunshine coming inside.
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