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In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares tips for fixing a drafty door.

Where to Start

Block drafts as the weather cools by making sure that weatherstripping around doors and windows is intact. Tour the house looking for worn, damaged, or missing strips, or areas where light is infiltrating along door jambs and under window sashes.

On windy days, feel for drafts. If any weatherstrip-ping needs to be replaced, vinyl-clad foam is a good choice to seal door edges; pile weatherstripping with fins works well on windows with sliding sashes.

Steps to Replacing the Weatherstripping on a Door:

  1. With a utility knife cut through the paint layer along the joint between the doorjamb and old weatherstripping.
  2. Pry off the old weatherstripping from the jamb with a 5-in-1 painter's tool.
  3. Use a hacksaw to cut new aluminum weatherstripping to fit across the bottom, exterior surface of the door.
  4. Remove all nails and screws from the doorjambs, then sand the jambs smooth with 100-grit sandpaper. Close the door.
  5. Drill screw-pilot holes into the bottom, exterior surface of the door, then attach the aluminum weatherstripping with the screws provided.
  6. Use the hacksaw to cut foam weatherstripping to fit around the exterior of the door. Cut two pieces of weatherstripping for the side jambs and one for the head jamb.
  7. Attach the foam weatherstripping to the jambs with 1-inch nails.

Tools