Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Getting rid of draft around pocket door?
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Thompson2
Getting rid of draft around pocket door?

We've been in our house for 4 years now and one thing that really gets to me is that, in the winter I can feel the cold air from the attic (I can tell by the musty smell) pouring out around the door. When we had more insulation blown into the attic, the rep told me there was nothing they could do about the draft.

With the amount of air coming in, I might as well have a huge hole in the ceiling... any suggestions on how to seal this? I've been contemplating some sort of sealing plate that goes over the jam since we don't actually use the door that much... but we do use it, so I'd rather have something out of sight.

Thanks in advance,
Michael
Portland, OR

Fencepost
Re: Getting rid of draft around pocket door?

First off, you say you've got a musty smell. That needs to be addressed. For some reason, you've got moisture in your attic. Why? Is there a leak? A flashing not sealed? A bath fan not exhausted to the outside? A sewer vent not hooked up? Or is it an old house with "legacy" mold? Might need to do some mold abatement.

OK, back to the door. My inclination would be to replace the door with a standard swinging door and weatherstrip it. Back when I lived in a drafty old house, I cut a piece of foam board just the right size to fit snugly into the window frame. This increased the comfort level of the room significantly, and it was a nice shade of pink. It matched the hideous pink ceiling.

MarkVK
Re: Getting rid of draft around pocket door?

Fencepost's idea for using a piece of insulating foam board worked well for me. I put a 2" thick piece of sheathing on the inside of the attic door, trimmed it around the knob and mounted it with quick adhesive instead of nails. The whole project cost under $20, took less than 30 minutes and worked like a charm. No more downdraft.

Shubi
Re: Getting rid of draft around pocket door?
Thompson2 wrote:

We've been in our house for 4 years now and one thing that really gets to me is that, in the winter I can feel the cold air from the attic (I can tell by the musty smell) pouring out around the door. When we had more insulation blown into the attic, the rep told me there was nothing they could do about the draft.

With the amount of air coming in, I might as well have a huge hole in the ceiling... any suggestions on how to seal this? I've been contemplating some sort of sealing plate that goes over the jam since we don't actually use the door that much... but we do use it, so I'd rather have something out of sight.

Thanks in advance,
Michael
Portland, OR

If the draft is indeed coming from the attic, it is a bypass that must be sealed, and there is almost always something you can do about that unless it is just totally inaccessible. Are you sure it's from the attic? Is the wall that the pocket door is in connected to an exterior wall? If so, the draft may be coming from the exterior wall being open to your pocket door and musty smells can originate there too. Is your home balloon construction? Pocket doors can be a real pain in the butt. Sealing it and installing a hinged door would be my recommendation,especially since these doors often jump the track or just get gummed up, but bypasses should be sealed in any event.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.