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How to Seal Your Door: Insulation and Caulking

Last modified: 2022-07-19 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

It seems like cold weather is always around the corner, so there is literally no need to highlight the importance of avoiding cold drafts wafting through your house. Since it causes both discomfort and significant increases in your heating bill, avoid this issue at all costs! Check out these helpful tips and tricks.

How to Seal a Door

Insulate your new door frame

Should you have just purchased a new door, take extra care when it comes to insulation matters. For this purpose, make sure to insulate the frame with quality polyurethane foam. Avoid using low-end products as these will quickly lose their effectiveness.

In order for your foam application to achieve the desired results, make sure to not completely fill the door frame with the insulation in one go. Start by filling the cavity with a one-inch layer and allow it to dry for 30 minutes.

Repeat this step a second time and wait at least another 30 minutes. Note that the waiting period should be increased to one hour if the humidity level is low or if it is chilly outside. And finally, never attempt to seal the door frame if the insulation has not completely dried, as the absence of air will interfere with the foam setting.

Caulking the door

In all instances, it is vital to add sealant around the door. To achieve a high-quality result, press the end of your caulking tube into the gap between the two walls at a 45-degree angle. Remember to avoid pausing while running the product in the gap, as this will create small, messy blobs of caulk.

However, remove the old caulking before applying a new layer. If the old sealant is difficult to remove because it dried excessively with time, warm it up to make it more pliable.

frozen window_how to seal your door: insulation and caulking

Photo: Pexels

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Add weatherstrip

Even if your door was properly installed, temperature changes, wood warping, or humidity may have created gaps, allowing air to enter your home.

Naturally, one way to deal with these cold drafts is to install weather stripping around your door. When considering whether to purchase one, you will usually have a choice between PVC or aluminum models. Although a PVC model offers greater value for money, an aluminum weatherstrip is more resistant to impact.

Install a door sweep

Installing a door sweep is an easy way to make your door more airtight. And, there are many models to choose from, such as vinyl, adhesive, screw-on, or brush bottom.

Either way, the whole installation process should be a breeze. All you need to do is fit the door sweep properly before fixing it to the door to make sure it has maximum airtightness. Lastly, as an added bonus, the door sweep comes in handy to reduce the visible gap between the door and the floor.

entry door_how to seal your door: insulation and caulking

Photo: Pexels

Apply a plastic window shrink film

Taking into consideration that drafts might be coming in from a window frame, applying a plastic shrink film around the frame can be a practical option. This thermoplastic transparent film can be easily installed; all you need to do is apply it with the help of a double-sided adhesive band around the window frame.

Next, all that is left to do is heat-shrink the film with a hair dryer to make sure it is properly sealed. Note that the installation procedure may vary from one manufacturer to the next. And, in certain cases, adhesive tape is not required.

Install an adhesive weatherstrip to the bottom of your door

When it comes to installing an adhesive weatherstrip to the bottom of your door, note that the majority of doors have little grooves on their jambs and edges for the very purpose of installing such an apparatus. 

When choosing the strip, measure the space along the edges of the door. This will determine the depth and width of the weather strip to fit your specific door. You should note, however, that while installing a strip is a fairly straightforward task, the size of the door may be a limiting factor and not allow for strips to be installed on all edges. Under no circumstances should the strips prevent the door from closing properly; this would obviously be counterproductive.

Tips to Ensure Your Door Is Sealed

Prior to installing any type of sealant, clean the surface thoroughly with a mild cleaner, such as diluted liquid dish soap. This is especially important with adhesive films, as dirt can prevent the film from properly adhering to the window surface.

Another thing to remember is to occasionally check the condition of the installed devices. If they are damaged or appear unusually stiff, promptly replace them. Otherwise, your heating bill this winter will be a sweaty affair!

Sealing Your Door: Various Solutions

1. Insulate door frame with polyurethane foam

2. Add caulking to your door

3. Install a weatherstrip

4. Install a door sweep

5. Apply a plastic window shrink film

6. Install adhesive weatherstrip to the bottom of the door

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