Have things been getting a little drafty in your home? It may be time to replace the weather stripping on your doors. This type of exterior door maintenance won’t just make your living space more comfortable—it’ll also save you cash. Fewer drafts equal lower energy bills, and you don’t need to be a pro to get it done. Here’s how to replace worn weather stripping around doors in just 60 minutes.
Prepping to Replace Weather Stripping
Before you start your project, you’ll want to inspect your weather stripping and tighten the hinges on your door. The goal is to make sure that your weather stripping—rather than a loose hinge—is actually what’s causing a draft. If you can lift your door up by the knob, your hinges may be to blame.
Once you rule out the hinges, you need to purchase weather stripping. This requires careful measurements. Close the door and measure the areas where you want to install your replacement weather stripping along the door jambs. Both width and length are important. For example, you’ll often need a thicker type of weather stripping for garage doors.
When in doubt, you can measure your existing weather stripping for reference as long as it’s not significantly degraded. Door sweeps, which go on the bottom of the door, come in standard sizes. After you take your measurements, add 10 inches to the length to give yourself some leeway.
How to Buy Weather Stripping
There are different types of weather stripping, and you need to purchase the correct kind. Door sweep weather stripping goes on the bottom of your door, but you’ll need to install another type of door seal around the door frame. Most commonly, homeowners choose a self-adhesive variety because it’s simple to install—but material matters.
Felt or foam varieties, like foam tape, are some of the most popular kinds of self-adhesive weather stripping. These can lack durability, despite their ease. If you’re installing weather stripping on an exterior, you may want to choose something stronger like a self-adhesive v-seal or tension seal weather strip made from vinyl, bronze, aluminum, or stainless steel. Rubber is one of the most durable options, but installation is tricky because you’ll need to nail it in place, so you may want to hire a local handyperson.
When purchasing new weather stripping, consider:
Where it’s going on your door
How much durability you’ll need
Your overall budget
Dry areas may need more dust protection and cold climates may need more draft protection.