Realty Executives of Flagstaff

Wayne McCormick

Wayne McCormick


Realty Executives of Flagstaff


Airtight doors within reach

(Published on - 11/11/2015 6:19:00 PM)

By James Dulley

Starcott Media Services

Before attempting any door improvements, inspect each door, especially the wood door.

If the wood is warped, there is not much you can do but replace it.

Steel or fiberglass doors seldom warp, so they can be upgraded for better efficiency. If you feel air leakage around the door, push on the door with your hand to force the door to close tighter and check again for leaks. If you are lucking, the door is just not closing tightly enough to seal well.

The easiest solution is to install an adjustable latch plate to hold the closed door stripping in the frame.

An easy to install design, by Mag Manufacturing, uses a two piece striker plate.

One piece fits where your old striker plate was mounted. The second piece, into which the door latches, can be adjusted over the first piece to hold the door tightly closed.

Most thresholds’ seals are adjustable. They usually have screws that allow you to move them up or down. The screw heads may be covered with packed dirt from years of use, so you may have to pick around to find them. Adjust the threshold up a little to see if this reduces the draft.

If the doors are old, replace the threshold seal or perhaps the entire threshold. Most newer doors have the weatherstripping attached to the door bottom, but some older ones have the seal in the threshold, where it can get damaged.

If you install a new efficient threshold seal, you will have to remove the door from the hinges.

The new seal will be thicker, so saw a thin strip off the door (wood or fiberglass) bottom.

For a steel door, install an automatic door bottom seal that moves down to touch the threshold just as the door closes.

Worn hinges also can cause sealing problems. These allow the door to hang crooked so the weatherstripping will not seal well.

Most home centers carry an array of hinge sizes, which fit almost any door.

The glass in doors is the lowest insulation component. Make a storm pane using clear acrylic plastic, to cover the glass in the door. This will double the insulation value and protect any decorative door glass.

If you can remove the door molding, check to see if there is insulation in the gap around the doorframe.

If you fine none, spray expanding foam insulation into the gap.


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