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Tips on Exterior Door Bottom Seal Replacement – The Easiest Way of Doing It

Tips on Exterior Door Bottom Seal Replacement - The Easiest Way of Doing It
Last Updated: 21 August 2019

You need to replace your door bottom seal if you notice it starts to crack, peel off, or becomes dry. Typically, the bottom sweep gets worn out after eight years of everyday use. Foam or felt stripping is cheap and easy to install, and rubber, vinyl, and metal usually last longer but cost more and may not that easy to install.

To help you with the exterior door bottom seal replacement here steps that you can follow. We have included in this article tips to make it last longer.

Things You Need:

  • Weatherstripping
  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Adhesive cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Claw hammer or drill
  • Hand saw
  • Flat-head screwdriver, hammer, and long nail
  • Staples, screws or nails

Steps on How to Replace Weather Stripping on Bottom of Door

The first thing you need to do is to determine if the bottom seal of your exterior door needs replacement. Felt and foam type of stripping may last only for a few years. It is time to replace the weather stripping if it does not seal the gap under your door correctly.

Prepare the materials you need and place it in an area that is easy to reach. If you have prepared everything, you can start working with your stripping. The process is divided into two parts. First, the removal of the old exterior door weather stripping bottom and the other part are the steps in replacing the seal.

Steps on Removing the Old Seal

Step #1 Remove the Old Strip

If the old strip is attached with adhesive, pull it off. If it is stuck on the bottom of the door, or if no screws or nails are holding it, pull it off slowly. For hard to remove door bottom seal, you can use a flat-head screwdriver or knife to take it off forcibly.

Step #2 Unscrew or Remove Nails

If the door strip is attached with screws or nails, use the claw end of the hammer to remove them or if you a drill set the better. You can save the screws or nails if they are still in good shape.

If staples are used to attach the strip, you can use a flat-head screwdriver or a staple remover.

Step #3 Clean or Remove the Remaining Adhesive

To remove the remaining adhesive at the bottom of the door, you can use water with soap. Clean the bottom thoroughly to prepare it for the new seal. To make sure you have cleaned it carefully, you can take the door off its hinges.

Note: You need a friend to help you with this.

Step #4 Take the Door Measurement Accurately for the New Strip

If you need to change for multiple doors, make sure you take the measurements of each door accurately. To do this, get your tape measure and note down the width of the bottom of the door. Take note of the measurements. Don’t forget to take note if it is for door 1 or 2 and so forth.

Note: Keep in mind, you measure the door itself, not the doorway width.

After measuring all the doors that need replacement, sum up all the measurements and head down the store to buy the new exterior door bottom seals. Double-check the measurements several times to make sure it is correct and accurate.

Tip: It is better to have an extra than to go back to the store. When computing the total measurements of all the doors for bottom seal replacement, it is best to multiply the overall width by 1.1 or 1.05.

This extra is enough, and you will surely have the exact measurement of the strip you will need for all the doors.

Step #5 Take the Measurement of the Gap Height under Your Door

The measurement is particularly essential if you are using a different type of door bottom weather stripping than you had removed. Make sure that it is large enough to fill the gap but not so big that you will not be able to close the door.

Take note of the measurements so you will get the right size when you get to the store.

Steps on Installing New Exterior Door Weatherstripping Bottom

Step#1 Measure Again Before Cutting

Make sure to measure the strip accurately. Check it not only twice but several times before cutting. It is best to retake the measurements of the door to make sure. If you purchase the type of seal that slides on the bottom of the door, slide the long piece and place a mark where to cut it.

Step #2 Use Shears or Tin Snips to Cut

To cut the strip accurately use tin snips or shears. If you have foam and felt, you can cut it using shears or heavy scissors. In the case of metal or metal-reinforced seal, you will need tin snips or a metal saw. For the wood seal, you will need a hand saw.

Step #3 Read the Instructions

Every type of seal has its specific instruction in installing. It includes the process of how it should installed. Prepare the tools you need before starting. Note: Some types of stick-on requires a temperature above 200F. Check the product instructions regarding this matter.

Step #4 Take the Door Off

Remove the door from its hinges to access the bottom with ease, especially if you are using a bottom seal with fasteners. To loosen the hinge pins, insert a nail in the underside of each hinge and then tap it gently with a hammer until it starts to move up. Then position the tip of a flat-head screwdriver under the hinge pinhead and tap the bottom of the screwdriver until the pin completely slides out.

Step #5 for Bottom Seal with Adhesive

If you are using a bottom seal with adhesive stick it to the bottom. For stick-on felt or foam product, remove the adhesive backing cover. Do this by section as you attach it to the door, so the adhesive will not stick into anything else as you work on it. Press it well and make sure to line it up well before securing it.

Step #6 for Strip without Adhesive

Use screws or nails to fasten the bottom seal. Check the instructions if you need to use screws, staples, or nails. Some have pre-made holes to attach the fasteners.

Step #7 Test the Door

Make sure the door closes with ease after installing the strip. Remember the seal should fill the gap on the bottom of your door, not to make it harder to open or close. If it looks too big, you can start over using a different type of seal.

Final Thoughts

Choose the right weatherstrip for your door before buying. Getting the wrong seal could result in a more significant issue. You also need to measure the bottom seal accurately before heading to the store so the process will go on smoothly.

The process of exterior door bottom seal replacement is not as easy as it may sound. But, if you follow the above steps, replacing the strip is fun and straightforward. If you find this how-to replace weather stripping on bottom of the door article helpful to you, feel free to share this with others, or you can comment below.

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