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How To Replace a Door Weatherstrip Seal (Easy DIY)

What is a Door Weatherstrip Seal?

A weatherstrip seal on an exterior door is a material or device designed to seal gaps and prevent the infiltration of air, moisture, and outside elements around the edges of the door. It acts as a barrier to weather conditions, contributing to energy efficiency and providing several important benefits that we will cover in this article.

A weatherstrip seal on an exterior door is typically located around the perimeter of the doorframe to create a seal between the door and the frame. There are different types of weatherstripping materials available, including adhesive-backed foam, V-strip, door sweeps, and more. The choice of weatherstripping depends on the specific requirements of the door and the type of gap you need to seal.

The goal of weatherstripping is to create a tight seal around the entire perimeter of the door, preventing air, water, and other elements from infiltrating the interior of the building. It's important to choose the right type of weatherstripping for each specific area and gap size.

Remember that the effectiveness of weatherstripping is contingent on its proper installation and maintenance. Over time, weatherstripping may wear out, become damaged, or lose its effectiveness, so periodic checks and replacements are advisable to ensure optimal energy efficiency and protection against the elements.

In this article, we will look at the different types of weatherstripping and provide step-by-step instructions for installing this valuable easy-to-do, do-it-yourself home improvement.

Why is Replacing a Door Weatherstrip Seal Important?

Improves indoor climate control - A well-functioning door weatherstrip seal helps maintain indoor temperatures, making the home more comfortable.

Enhances energy efficiency - By preventing air leaks, weatherstrip seals reduce the workload on heating and cooling systems, resulting in lower energy usage and costs.

Prevents moisture and pests - Weatherstrip seals form a barrier that helps keep out rain, snow, and pests, protecting the home and its inhabitants.

how to change weatherstrip

Preserves the condition of the door and surrounding areas - By keeping out moisture, weatherstrip seals minimize the risk of door and frame rot, and damage to nearby walls and floors.

Cost-effective maintenance - Regularly replacing weatherstrip seals is a minor expense compared to the potential costs of untreated water damage, pest infestation, or exorbitant energy bills.

Helps increase home value - A house with well-maintained doors and energy-efficient features can command a higher market price.

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Door Weatherstrip Seal?

Time Frame - Replacing a door weatherstrip seal is relatively quick, typically taking between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the door's size and condition.

Simplicity - The process is considered simple, and can usually be completed without professional help.

Basic Tools Required - A screwdriver, utility knife, and tape measure are generally all the tools needed for this task.

Difficulty - On a scale of 1-10, the difficulty of this DIY task is often rated around 2-3, making it accessible for most homeowners.

What’s Involved - The task involves removing the old seal, cleaning the area, measuring and cutting the new seal, and installing it.

Choosing the Best Type of Weatherstripping

There are several options available at your home improvement store. Choose the type that best suits your door and the gap you need to seal. Here are five of the most common types:

V Strip (or Tension Seal): a durable plastic or metal strip folded into a ‘V’ shape that springs open to bridge gaps along the sides of a double-hung or sliding window, on the top and sides of a door. Just cut to desired length with scissors, then peel and stick, or install with finishing nails.


Felt: inexpensive and sold in rolls, either plain or reinforced with a pliable metal strip. Install around a door or window sash, and in the door’s jamb so that it compresses against the door. Cut to the desired length with a utility knife, then staple or nail in place.

Foam Tape: made from open or closed-cell foam or EPDM rubber with a sticky back, this type of weather stripping is sold in varying widths and thicknesses, which makes it best for irregular-sized cracks. Install at top and bottom of window sashes, and inside doorframes. Just cut to length, and adhere where needed.

Door Sweeps: flat pieces of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel fitted with a strip of nylon, plastic, or vinyl or a sponge brush to fill the space between door and threshold. They should be placed along the bottom of the interior side of a door. Cut to your door’s width if needed, and install with screws.

Tubular rubber, vinyl, or silicone: effective air barriers made of a narrow sponge rubber or vinyl tubing come attached to a wood or metal mounting strip. Silicone types are usually inserted into milled grooves at the base of doors and windows; top or bottom of a window sash; bottom of a door; between a door and its jamb. Peel and stick, or fasten with screws through slot holes.

Preparing for the Job

Necessary Materials for Replacing a Door Weatherstrip Seal

  • New Weatherstripping: Purchase a new weatherstrip seal that is appropriate for your door type and size.
  • Screwdriver: This common household tool is used for removing and installing screws from the door and frame.
  • Utility Knife or Scissors: You'll need a sharp utility knife to cut the new seal to the correct length.
  • Tape Measure: Accurate measurements are crucial, so a reliable tape measure is essential.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Have some basic cleaning supplies on hand, such as a cloth and a mild cleaning solution like rubbing alcohol, for preparing the doorframe before installing the new seal.
  • Optional Repair Materials: Depending on the condition of your doorframe, you may also need wood filler, sandpaper, or paint for minor repairs and touch-ups.

Step-by-step Guide to Replace a Door Weatherstrip Seal

Step 1: Removing the Old Weatherstrip

  • Begin by carefully examining the old seal and how it's attached to the doorframe.
  • Make sure to use the proper tool, likely a screwdriver or utility knife, to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the door or frame.
  • Take note of any difficulties or issues you encounter while removing the old seal; this could indicate underlying problems that need to be addressed before the new seal is installed.
  • Clean the area thoroughly once the old seal is removed, ensuring any debris or residual adhesive is completely removed.
  • Remember safety first; beware of sharp edges or protruding screws while working.
guide to installing weatherstrip

Step 2: Measuring the Doorframe

  • Measure the doorframe's length and width accurately; these dimensions will influence the length of the weatherstrip seal needed.
  • Ensure the tape measure is flat and straight for a precise reading; incorrect measurements can lead to an ill-fitting seal.
  • Make a note of these measurements or keep a record; this will be necessary when purchasing your new weatherstrip seal.
  • Consider taking multiple measurements, especially if the doorframe appears to be uneven; this will ensure a good fit.
  • Measure the depth of the groove where the old weatherstrip was located; this can influence the type of new weatherstrip you need.

Step 3: Cutting the New Weatherstrip to the Right Size

  • Use your measurements from the previous step to trim your new weatherstrip seal correctly.
  • Use a sharp utility knife or scissors for a smooth, clean cut.
  • Double-check measurements before cutting, remember "Measure twice, cut once".
  • Ensure the cut is straight, as an angled or jagged cut may cause an improper fit.
  • Check the fit by placing the cut weatherstrip in the groove without securing it, making any necessary adjustments.
  • Don't forget to cut seals for the top and sides of the door, if required.
  • Remember, it's better for the weatherstrip to be slightly longer, as you can always trim off excess, but you can't add length once it's cut.

Step 4: Installing the New Weatherstrip Seal

  • Ensure the door and frame are clean and dry before installation. Dirt or moisture can impede the adhesive quality of the weatherstrip.
  • Test-fit the weatherstrip first by placing it into the groove without securing it. Make any necessary adjustments.
  • When you’re sure of the fit, peel off the backing on the adhesive side of the weatherstrip and press it firmly into place.
  • Start from the top and work your way down to the sides. This order helps prevent any water leakage.
  • Apply pressure along the entire length of the weatherstrip to ensure it’s properly secured and there are no loose areas.
  • Check the door’s closing mechanism. The door should close easily without any force. If the door is hard to close, the weatherstrip might be too thick and need adjusting.
  • Lastly, remember to check the door's operation and verify that the new weatherstrip seal is providing a tight seal to block drafts.

Step 5: Checking the Seal for Any Gaps

  • Thoroughly inspect the newly installed weatherstrip around the entire doorframe for any potential gaps or loose areas.
  • Pay special attention to the corners and edges, as these are common areas where gaps can occur.
  • Close the door and check from the inside for any visible light seeping through or drafts coming in. If you see light or feel a draft, there's a gap.
  • Run a strip of paper around the door. If it slides easily in places, there might be a gap.
  • Use a hand to feel around the door. If there's a significant temperature difference or you feel air coming through, there might be a gap.
  • Consider using a smoke puffer or incense stick to visually detect any air movement, indicating potential gaps.
  • If a gap is identified, adjust or add more weatherstripping as necessary until the gap is sealed.

What to Do After Replacing the Door Weatherstrip Seal

Disposing of the Old Weatherstrip Seal

  • Do not simply throw away the old weatherstrip seal; consider recycling options available in your area.
  • If the old weatherstrip seal is in good condition, consider repurposing it for use in other areas around your home.
  • Always double-check local regulations for disposing of such items, as some areas may have specific requirements or facilities for waste disposal.
  • Ensure the safe removal of the old seal to avoid any damage or harm.
  • Clean the area thoroughly after the removal of the old weatherstrip to ensure there are no remnants left behind.
  • Always wear protective gloves when handling old weatherstrip seals to protect your hands from potential harm or dirt.

What to Do After Replacing the Door Weatherstrip Seal

Disposing of the Old Weatherstrip Seal

  • Do not simply throw away the old weatherstrip seal; consider recycling options available in your area.
  • If the old weatherstrip seal is in good condition, consider repurposing it for use in other areas around your home.
  • Always double-check local regulations for disposing of such items, as some areas may have specific requirements or facilities for waste disposal.
  • Ensure the safe removal of the old seal to avoid any damage or harm.
  • Clean the area thoroughly after the removal of the old weatherstrip to ensure there are no remnants left behind.
  • Always wear protective gloves when handling old weatherstrip seals to protect your hands from potential harm or dirt.
weatherstripping guide

Maintenance Tips for Your New Door Weatherstrip Seal

Regular inspection: Check your new door weatherstrip seal regularly for any signs of wear and tear.

Proper cleaning: Clean your weatherstrip seal gently using mild soap and a soft cloth to increase its lifespan. Avoid using harsh chemicals or rough materials that can damage the seal.

Adjustment: If the seal becomes loose or doesn't fit snugly, adjust it to ensure a tight fit.

Replacement: If you notice any significant damage, replace the seal promptly to maintain energy efficiency and comfort in your home.

Professional help: If you're unsure about the condition or maintenance of your weatherstrip seal, don't hesitate to consult a professional.

Sealing the Other Areas of Your Home

Now that you’ve learned how to seal up exterior doorways, look for opportunities to seal up gaps around windows, trim, and other entry points where conditioned air can escape your home. Weatherstripping, caulk, and door sweep supplies are easy to use and inexpensive — especially with regard to how much energy you can save.

Speaking of ways to save, if you live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the EPB Energy ProsSM are available at no charge for advice on air sealing or anything else energy related. We’re here to show you all the ways you can save — specific to your home.

Just text or call us at 423-648-1372 or visit to schedule your free consultation.

Common Questions about Replacing a Door Weatherstrip Seal

How Often Should I Expect To Replace My Door's Weatherstrip Seal?

Generally, a good quality weatherstrip seal can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years or even longer with proper maintenance. However, it's essential to inspect it periodically for signs of wear and tear and replace it as needed to maintain its effectiveness in keeping out drafts, moisture, and pests. If you notice any cracks, gaps, or deterioration, it's time to replace the weatherstrip seal.

What Are The Different Types Of Door Weatherstrip Seals Available?

There are several types of door weatherstrip seals available, each designed to address specific needs and preferences. Here are some common types:

  • Felt Weatherstripping: Made of compressed felt, this type of weatherstripping is affordable and easy to install. However, it may not be as durable as other materials and can wear out relatively quickly.
  • Foam Tape Weatherstripping: This type consists of self-adhesive foam tapes that can be easily applied to the doorframe. Foam tape is inexpensive and provides good insulation against drafts and noise. However, it may not be as durable as other materials and may need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Rubber or Vinyl Tubing Weatherstripping: These types of weatherstripping feature hollow rubber or vinyl tubes that are inserted into grooves or channels on the doorframe. They provide a good seal against drafts and moisture and are more durable than foam tape or felt weatherstripping.
  • Magnetic Weatherstripping: Magnetic weatherstripping uses magnets to create a tight seal between the door and the frame. It offers excellent insulation and is effective at blocking drafts and reducing energy loss. However, it can be more expensive than other types of weatherstripping.
  • Door Sweep: A door sweep is a strip of flexible material (such as rubber or vinyl) attached to the bottom of the door. It helps seal the gap between the door and the threshold, preventing drafts, dust, and insects from entering. Door sweeps are available in various styles, including brush sweeps, vinyl sweeps, and metal sweeps.
  • Interlocking Metal Weatherstripping: This type of weatherstripping consists of metal strips that interlock when the door is closed, creating a tight seal against drafts and moisture. It is highly durable and provides excellent protection against the elements, but it can be more difficult to install than other types of weatherstripping.

When choosing a weatherstrip seal for your door, consider factors such as the climate in your area, the level of insulation needed, ease of installation, and budget. It's also essential to ensure that the weatherstripping you choose is compatible with your door and frame.

How Can I Choose The Right Door Weatherstrip Seal?

Choosing the right door weatherstrip seal involves considering several factors to ensure it effectively meets your needs and provides proper insulation and protection. Here are some steps to help you choose the right one:

  • Evaluate your needs: Consider the specific requirements for your door, such as the level of insulation needed, the climate in your area, and any particular concerns you have regarding drafts, noise, or moisture infiltration.
  • Assess the condition of your current weatherstripping (if applicable): If your door already has weatherstripping, inspect it for wear and tear, gaps, or damage. This assessment can help you determine whether you need to replace the existing weatherstripping or choose a different type.
guide to weatherstrip
  • Understand the types of weatherstripping available: Familiarize yourself with the various types of weatherstripping options, including foam tape, rubber or vinyl tubing, magnetic, door sweeps, and interlocking metal weatherstripping. Each type has its advantages and suitability for different situations.
  • Consider durability and longevity: Choose a weatherstrip seal made from durable materials that can withstand frequent use and exposure to the elements. While some materials may be more affordable upfront, investing in higher-quality weatherstripping can save you money in the long run by reducing the frequency of replacements.
  • Evaluate ease of installation: Depending on your DIY skills and preferences, consider the ease of installation of the weatherstrip seal. Some types, like self-adhesive foam tape, are simple to apply, while others, such as interlocking metal weatherstripping, may require more effort and expertise.
  • Check compatibility with your door and frame: Ensure that the weatherstrip seal you choose is compatible with your door and frame. Consider factors such as the size and shape of the door, the material of the frame, and any existing hardware or features that may affect installation.
  • Read reviews and seek recommendations: Look for reviews and recommendations from other homeowners or professionals who have experience with the type of weatherstripping you're considering. Their insights can help you make an informed decision and avoid potential issues.
  • Consider energy efficiency: Choose a weatherstrip seal that provides effective insulation to help improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. Look for options with high insulation ratings and features designed to block drafts and air leaks effectively.

By following these steps and carefully considering your specific requirements, you can choose the right door weatherstrip seal to enhance insulation, protect against drafts, and improve the overall comfort and efficiency of your home.

Can Damaged Weatherstrip Seals Be Repaired?

In some cases, damaged weatherstrip seals can be repaired, but it depends on the extent of the damage and the type of weatherstripping material. Here are some common repair methods for damaged weatherstrip seals:

  • Patch or Sealant: For minor tears or cracks in rubber or vinyl weatherstripping, you may be able to repair them using a patch or sealant designed for the material. Clean the damaged area thoroughly, apply the patch or sealant according to the manufacturer's instructions, and allow it to dry completely before closing the door.
  • Reattachment: If the weatherstrip seal has become loose or detached from the door or frame, you can often reattach it using adhesive or screws, depending on the type of weatherstripping and the surface it's attached to. Make sure to clean the surfaces thoroughly and use a strong adhesive suitable for the material.
  • Replacement: If the damage to the weatherstrip seal is extensive or if it's an integral part of the door's sealing system (such as a door sweep or magnetic weatherstripping), it's usually best to replace the entire seal rather than attempting repairs. Replacement weatherstripping is readily available and relatively easy to install.
  • Adjustment: Sometimes, weatherstrip seals may become misaligned or ineffective due to improper installation or wear over time. In such cases, adjusting the position or tension of the weatherstripping on door components may help improve its effectiveness without the need for replacement or repair.
  • Professional Repair: For more complex or severe damage, or if you're unsure about the best course of action, it may be advisable to seek professional assistance. A skilled technician or door repair specialist can assess the damage and recommend the most appropriate repair or replacement options.

In summary, while some minor damage to weatherstrip seals can be repaired using patches, sealants, or reattachment methods, more significant or extensive damage may require replacement. It's essential to assess the extent of the damage and consider factors such as the type of weatherstripping material, the effectiveness of the repair method, and the overall condition of the door and frame when determining the best course of action.

Can I Replace a Weatherstrip Seal On Any Door, Including Garage And Patio Doors?

Yes, you can replace weatherstrip seals on various types of doors, including garage doors and patio doors. Weatherstrip seals are essential for all types of doors to provide insulation, prevent drafts, and keep out moisture, dust, and pests. Here are some considerations for replacing weatherstrip seals on different types of doors:

  • Garage Doors: Garage doors typically have weatherstrip seals along the sides, top, and bottom to create a tight seal when closed. Over time, these seals can wear out or become damaged, allowing drafts, moisture, and debris to enter the garage. Replacing the weatherstrip seals on a garage door can help improve insulation and energy efficiency, as well as protect stored items from the elements.
  • Patio Doors: Patio doors, such as sliding glass doors or French doors, often have weatherstrip seals along the frame to prevent air and water infiltration. Damaged or worn weatherstripping can lead to drafts, leaks, and increased energy costs. Replacing the weatherstrip seals on patio doors can help maintain a comfortable indoor environment and prevent damage to flooring and furnishings.

When replacing weatherstrip seals on any door, it's essential to choose the right type of weatherstripping material and ensure proper installation for optimal effectiveness. Additionally, consider factors such as climate, door usage, and compatibility with the door and frame when selecting replacement weatherstrip seals. If you're unsure about the process or need assistance, you can consult a professional door installer or repair technician for guidance.

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