A Guide to Using and Installing Door Bottoms for Weather Stripping Exterior Doors

One of the first things homeowners can do to weatherproof their home is to add weather stripping to their exterior doors. Adding a door sweep will seal the area between the bottom of the door and the door threshold.

Door sweeps are available in two basic types, ones that are constructed from metal and those that are constructed from vinyl. It is simply a matter of personal preference as to which type you buy.

To determine the length of the door sweep that you need to purchase measure the bottom of the door. Since exterior doors vary in size, measure each door that you will be placing a door sweep on. Since door sweeps are available in predetermined lengths, it may be necessary to adjust the length of the door sweep after you purchase it.

If you have purchased a vinyl door sweep, you can use a pair of sturdy scissors to trim it. If you have purchased a metal door sweep, use a hacksaw. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a neighbor, friend, or family member.

If you have to add door sweeps to several doors or have other projects lined up, you may want to invest in the purchase of a hacksaw. Typically, the cost of a basic hacksaw is approximately twenty dollars, depending on the brand and size.

Try to cut equal lengths from each end of the door sweep. In fact, it is always better to cut off too little at first rather than too much, so take your time. The door sweep needs to overlap the door threshold in order to achieve the maximum benefit. However, you need to also make sure that the door sweep will not interfere with the movement of the door.

Attaching the door sweeps is simple and straightforward. The vinyl sweeps usually have a self-adhesive backing that you use to attach it to the door bottom. Remove the plastic covering on the adhesive backing and stick the sweep to the bottom of the door. Be careful that you place the seep exactly where you want it to go.

Metal door sweeps come with screws that you will use to attach it to the door. Make a small mark on the door threshold where you will be placing the screws. Align the sweep and using a screwdriver, attach the sweep securely.

Installing door sweeps will block the airflow beneath them. This can help to reduce home heating and cooling bills.

author: Susan M. Keenan

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