Weather-Stripping a Door

When you’re thinking about saving money on your house, the best thing you can do is ensure that it’s well insulated. If you live in a cold climate, you don’t want cold air coming in; if you live in a hotter climate, what you don’t want is for that hot humid air to enter. Either way, one of your best moves is to weather-strip your door.

Preparing to weather-strip

Joe Wise, owner of Buildwise construction in Orlando, Florida, provides a video that teaches homeowners how to weather-strip their doors. He’s chosen a high density foam with a peel-and-stick application (there’s no reason to make it more difficult than it needs to be!).

Check first to be sure that your material matches the thickness of your stop. Wider isn’t better; that will keep the door from closing and sealing properly.

Getting the job started

Start with the sticky side down and begin at the top. You want to place your thumb on the material and press so that it’s fitting closely on the doorstop.

Wise recommends that you do it all in one piece, rather than putting little pieces together. The reason is that doing it all in one piece gives you a stronger bind and there won’t be a tendency for pieces to come off.

So he recommends that you go down the whole door , pressing down hard all the way. However, there’s a caveat: be careful to not stretch the material. If you do end up stretching it, it will neither stick nor seal properly. So you want to lay it in place and push it onto the frame and press firmly without pulling too hard on it.

Finishing it up

As you get down to the bottom of the door, keep the even pressure going until you’re at the very end. Then you’ll take a pair of scissors (just regular ones, no special tools are needed for this project) and measure where you want to cut it, and then once you’ve measured, perform the cut.

Now continue to press it in place, sliding you hand gently all the way back up and down again to make sure that everything is nice and even and well-stuck-on.

At this point what you’ll do is carefully peel off the backing. Start from the bottom and go up, and be sure that you’re pulling in an upward motion and now out, and pulling out is pulling your  tape away from the door rather than keeping it in place! Pull it up and keep going slowly and gently until all of the tape has been pulled off.

That’s going to give you a nice tight seal when you pull the door shut. This isn’t the end of your weatherproofing efforts, of course; you’ll still need to caulk and weather-strip your whole house. But this is one of the most important steps you can take to provide insulation for your home, and keep the inside temperature at the level of your choice (hot or cold), no matter what the weather is outside.