Draft Dodger Tips: How to Install Weather-Stripping

Use measurements of the three door edges, sides and top, to determine how much weather-stripping material of your choice will be needed

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive-Backed Vinyl Foam Tape, is the most effective and economical Weather-Stripping to apply. Look for “closed-cell” vinyl; it has better insulating and compressibility characteristics.

Step 1: Pull off old foam style weather-stripping with needle nose pliers. It is normal for it to come off in chunks. Remove any remaining foam material using a scraper. To eliminate any sticky glue residue, apply an adhesive remover and let sit about 30 minutes before wiping off with a clean rag. Using dishwashing detergent and water, make certain no dirt or oil remains. Allow to dry.

Step 2: Dry fit the new Weather-Stripping to the jamb area. Add a little bit before cutting off of the roll. Starting at the bottom of one side, slowly peel paper backing off as you push sticky foam strip into place. Work your way up, across the top of the door jamb and back down the other side. Trim extra material.

When the door closes, the weather-stripping compresses and forms an airtight seal. Foam stripping has a limited life, check it annually. Make sure the foam does not remain compressed when the door is open. If it stays compressed, it is time to replace it again.


Many newer doors have a groove around the jamb that the edge of vinyl weather-stripping slides into.

  • To remove the damaged section, simply pull it out.
  • Take a piece to a home improvement store as a sample to replace it.

  • Pre fit the new slide in piece to the door allowing a small overlap before cutting. Slide new weather stripping into the jamb groove and press slightly into place.
  • Check to make sure strip is sitting flat in the groove.
  • Verify proper fit by opening and closing the door before cutting off any excess vinyl.

Exterior Door Screw Strip Weather Stripping

  • Metal strip weather-stripping may be V-shaped or single construction. Available in bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum.
  • Remove screws holding metal weather strip in place with a screwdriver.

  • Clean the door jamb area with a spray cleaner, scrape away any grime build-up
  • Install new metal strip by loosely screwing in each screw, and then tighten one at a time.


Door sweeps are easy to install and provide protection by blocking wind and weather along the bottom edge of a door. Install on the inside bottom edge of doors that swing into the house Install on the outside bottom edge of doors that swing outward. Available in Aluminum or Stainless Steel with sweep brushes of plastic, vinyl, sponge, or felt.

Automatically retracting sweeps also available:

  1. reduced drag on carpet
  2. increased durability

  • Hold the sweep against the door, matching it flush with the bottom of the closed door frame to verify proper fit and measurement.
  • Cut to correct length to match door.
  • Mark places for the mounting holes on the door.
  • Drill small holes for the mounting screws using a power drill. Use a drill bit, one size smaller than the mounting screws.
  • Install the screws to firmly attach the sweep to the door bottom.

  • Open the door to be sure sweep clears floor for the entire swing of the door.
  • Check to see that the door closes securely in the frame with the sweep mounted.
  • Make up/down adjustments of the sweep before tightening screws.

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