Ideas for Fixing Drafty Doors
LESLIE: Wendy in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
WENDY: I have two drafty doors and we opted to use the peel-and-stick foam insulator.
WENDY: And it didn’t work that well. And it just created more of a gap, it seems like. It just didn’t work at all and I’m just wondering what kind of solution can we use instead of the peel-and-stick fill-in stuff.
TOM: So, when you say the peel-and-stick foam, do you mean when the doors close, you get drafts that come through them and you use the peel-and-stick weather-stripping?
TOM: Do you want to operate these doors in the wintertime?
WENDY: Mm-hmm. Definitely.
TOM: And what kind of doors are they? What are they made of? Are they metal doors or are they …?
WENDY: It’s a metal door.
TOM: So it’s an old, metal, sliding-glass door.
WENDY: No, it’s a regular door. It’s just – and it goes out to our patio but it’s not a wood door. It’s made of metal.
TOM: Oh, it’s a metal door. It’s a regular metal door.
TOM: Are the drafts coming in around the sides and top of the door or are they coming under the door?
WENDY: Under the door and on the side, right where the door locks.
TOM: If the door is out of alignment – in other words, if you close the door and it doesn’t evenly strike the jamb all the way around – it’s going to be almost impossible to get a seal from that type of weather-stripping. It’s got to strike the weather-stripping and then compress it a little bit to give you the seal.
Now, I would take a look, very carefully closing that door – open and close it from the outside – bringing it to where it just starts to touch the jamb and see if it strikes evenly all the way around. If it doesn’t strike evenly, then you need to adjust the door. And that’s usually done by moving the door jamb one way or the other to get it to basically hang better so that it will strike evenly.
In terms of the door at the bottom, the door saddle might be replaceable. Or in the alternative, you could do something that’s probably even easier and less expensive – is you could put a door sweep on the bottom of the door.
Now, a sweep attaches to the face of the door and it basically goes right down to the floor. It looks kind of broom-like; it has bristles that are really tight together. And that actually will help a lot of the breeze that’s coming through and under the door.
TOM: And then, of course, you could always go with a storm door and that’s another way to approach the whole thing, OK?
WENDY: That sounds perfect.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.