How to Weatherproof Doors - The Hardware Hut
Weatherproof Doors
Weatherproof Doors

How to Weatherproof Doors

Knowing how to weatherproof a door helps you stop cold air and harsh weather from making its way into your home. A properly sealed door is essential in the winter, so many people weatherize their doors in the fall. Weatherproofing plays a role year-round, though, keeping cold air trapped in the house during the summer and preventing insects and other unwanted pests from invading your home.

Weatherproof Doors Components

Three components provide the best door weatherproofing, as shown in the diagram below: the Threshold, Door Bottom, and Weatherstripping. All can be added, replaced, or improved to provide the seal around an exterior door.

Weatherproof Doors

The Door Threshold

A door threshold is a strip of wood or metal that runs across the entryway floor. Thresholds install into the floor, separate from the door, and are common in both residential and commercial doorways.

The threshold is an important component when you consider how to seal an exterior door frame. Not only does a threshold keep cold air from getting in and warm air from getting out, the threshold also makes up for any difference in height from the exterior ground to the door opening. Without a threshold, the height difference between the bottom of the door and the ground outside the door can let in rain, snow, and unwanted pests.

door threshold

Replacing vs. Building New Thresholds

It’s best to stick with the same style when replacing thresholds. Builders construct door frames with a specific threshold in mind, and it can be difficult to switch styles and find a matching size. Threshold styles are easily identified with a visual examination, as only three styles are available: L Saddle, Half Saddle, and Oak Top Thresholds.

  • L Saddle Thresholds have a ramp on either side and are used when floor heights on both sides of the opening are lower than the door opening.
  • Half Saddle Thresholds only have a ramp on one side and are used when the ground outside the door opening is lower than the opening, but the floor inside is level with the opening.
  • Oak Top Thresholds have wood trim on top and only have a ramp outside the door like Half Saddle Thresholds.

All three threshold types have height variations. Once you identify your current threshold style, uninstall your current threshold, and measure the height to match the new threshold.

When building new thresholds, measure the height difference from the ground to the bottom of the door opening to calculate the height of the threshold needed. The style you choose depends on the floor differences on either side of the door.

Door Bottoms, Shoes, and Sweeps

Door bottoms are installed on the bottom of the door and work with the threshold to provide a tight seal and waterproof the door. There are three types of door bottoms available. Standard door bottoms install on the bottom of the door, while door shoes and sweeps install on the exterior face of the door.

Homeowners favor standard door bottoms to weatherize doors because they are hidden and have a minimal effect on the door’s appearance. Door Sweeps surface mount to the door’s exterior, while door shoes screw into both sides of the door.

Door bottoms, shoes, and sweeps are all equally effective ways to weatherproof a door. Deciding between the three solutions is a style preference or sometimes specified by commercial door codes.

How to Seal a Doorway with Replacement Door Bottoms

Door bottoms install the bottom of the door. As they do not alter the door’s appearance, door bottoms are popular choices for residential doors. The door bottoms Hardware Hut carries use vinyl or neoprene inserts and compress when the door is closed for a tight seal. When replacing door bottoms, you can usually replace just the vinyl or neoprene insert, which wears down over time.

Automatic door bottoms are available and mortised into the bottom of the door. Automatic door bottoms work with an indicator that seals the door bottom only when the door is closed, allowing for greater applied pressure against the threshold and a tighter seal. The door bottom recoils back into the door when opened to avoid wear and tear from dragging across the floor.

Door Bottom

Door Sweeps

Door sweeps surface mount to the exterior side of the door. In addition to weatherproofing the door, a door sweep also sweeps dust and debris out as the door is closed. Sweeps are easier to install than door bottoms because they’re surface mounted.

Door Sweep

Door Shoes

Door Shoes wrap around the door in a U Shape. They last the longest when compared to sweeps and bottoms and protect the bottom of the door from damage. A vinyl insert seals the bottom of the door like a standard door bottom.

Door Shoe

Choosing the Right Weatherstripping to Weatherproof a Front Door

Weatherstripping creates a seal around the door on every side except the bottom, which is sealed by the threshold and door bottom. Hardware Hut sells two main types of weatherstripping: kerf-in and foam tape weatherstripping.

Kerf-in Weatherstripping

Kerf-in weatherstripping provides a very tight seal and is less likely to tear and need to be replaced. Knowing how to seal a doorway with kerf-in weatherstripping is important, as this style only works when the entryway is specially prepared. Kerf-in weatherstripping installs into a groove around the door that is part of the door construction. If your door isn’t prepared for kerf-in weatherstripping, foam tape weatherstripping offers a better solution.


Foam Tape Weatherstripping

Foam tape weatherstripping is self-adhesive and can be installed by peeling off the protective paper, setting the weatherstripping in place, and applying pressure for thirty seconds. The foam tape sticks to the door frame and compresses when the door closes, providing a tight seal against wind and water.

More Questions On How to Weatherproof Doors?

There you have it. Those are the three items you can add or replace to weatherproof doors. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to a customer service rep by filling out a customer service form, or give us a call at (800) 708-6649, or connect with us on Instagram or Facebook.