How to Replace Exterior Door Weatherstripping

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What You'll Need
Weatherstripping material
Tape measure
Tin snips
Protective glasses
Sill seal
Small nails
Paint scraper
Soapy water
Scrubbing pad

When you feel a cold draft or you notice that your utility bills are higher than they should be, it’s likely you have inadequate insulation. One of the common culprits in the home is your exterior doors. Replacing exterior door weatherstripping may reduce your energy costs and stop those drafts from entering the home. This project is easy and inexpensive, even for a novice.

Step 1 - Remove old Weatherstripping

First, remove the old weatherstripping if there is any. Open the door and look along the top, the base and the door jamb. If you find old weatherstripping held in place with an adhesive, grab it near an end and gently pull. Once you have a section loose pour some alcohol over it. The alcohol will aid in dissolving the adhesive. Use the paint scraper to pull the weatherstripping away from the frame and door. Once removed use soapy water and a scrubbing pad to remove any adhesive that is left behind and to clean the surfaces.

If the old weatherstripping is an aluminum strip type, pry it gently from the base of the door with the claw of your hammer.

Step 2 - Measure and Cut

door with cat door

Your new weatherstripping will fit along the bottom of the door. It comes in standard sizes to fit most doors, so measure your door and purchase the one that is the closest fit. The new piece is a length of aluminum or vinyl that attaches to the door, and a sweep of solid rubber, like a squeegee, or of plastic bristles, that fills the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Cut the weatherstripping to the measurements of your door, then test fit the pieces.

Step 3 - Install the New Weatherstripping

Remove the adhesive backing on the piece of weatherstripping you cut for the bottom. Line it up and press in place. It should be a snug fit but not buckled or bent. Close the door and check for any issues that could prevent the door from closing and trim if needed. Once you are satisfied you can nail the weatherstripping in place.