All exterior doors have a door seal that creates an airtight barrier between the interior and exterior of the home. If the door seal degenerates over time, you may feel drafts or see your energy bills rising. Luckily, a door seal is very inexpensive and easy to replace. Just take careful measurements of your exterior door, then purchase the appropriate replacement door seal and begin the repair.
Purchasing a new door seal can be a bit tricky. Pay attention not only to the necessary length, but also the thickness required to span any gaps between your door frame and door. Keep in mind that the old door seal may be overly compressed, so don’t just measure the thickness of the existing door seal for the best fit. Also, door seals are available in two varieties: adhesive and door seals that require fasteners. You may want to look at your existing door seal for cues of which one to choose. However, in general, the door seals attached with fasteners seem to weather more damage before they need to be replaced.
Step 1: Remove the door from the door frame. Use a hammer and flat head screwdriver to remove the pins from the hinges that hold the door in place. Then remove the door and set it aside so you can have uninhibited access to the door seal.
TIP: Doors can be heavy and unwieldly. Seek out a helper who can help you remove and instal the door as necessary.
Step 2: Remove the old seal. Begin by removing any staple or screws holding the seal in place. Then use a chisel and hammer to detach the old door seal from the door frame if needed. If you must use the chisel, work carefully to avoid chipping the wood that composes the door frame.
Step 3: Remove the new door seal from the packaging. Cut the pieces of door seal as necessary to ensure a custom fit for your particular door.
Step 4: Replace the door seal. If you purchased an adhesive door seal, you will have to remove the adhesive backing, and then press the door seal firmly against the door frame. Wait 15 minutes before proceeding to allow the door seal to adhere before continuing.
If you have a door seal that is attached by fasteners, use small wood screws to attach the seal to the door frame. Pay particular attention to making the fasteners flush with the door frame, to avoid obstructing the seal.
Step 5: Replace the door by placing it back on the hinges and sliding the pins back into place. Tap the pins down into the hinge with a hammer if necessary. Close the door and check for any problems with your new door seal.