Easy DIY tip: During the summer, keep blinds closed to prevent sun- light from warming the house, and during the winter, be sure to keep blinds open during the day to allow sunlight to enter and heat the home. Luckily, the windows of our new house seemed to be in good work- ing order. The doors, on the other hand, needed some work. The back door had missing/deteroriat- ed weather-stripping which was causing a draft, and around the front door I could see sunlight bleeding around seams of the jamb.
SEALING THE DOORS The front door required a simple solution—new caulk/sealant along the seams of the jamb. I used the new Gorilla Glue Silicone Sealant in a white color to match the sur- rounding trim. Note that silicone sealant is typically not paintable, so if you plan to add paint later, make sure to select a caulk/sealant product that is specifically labeled “paintable.” For this application I didn’t need a paintable sealant, but the Gorilla product did offer the features I was looking for: a 100-percent water- proof, shrink/crack-proof, mold/mildew-resistant, non-yellow- ing formula that stays flexible over time. At the back door, I removed and replaced the old weather-stripping using an aluminum weather-seal that features a rubber bulb along one edge of its length. This rubber bulb compresses against the door to seal out air and moisture. All that’s required to install it is the weather-seal kit, a drill/driver, measuring tape and a hacksaw or metal snips. The kits are usually sold with three pieces, one for the top and two for the sides of the door. Any of the three components can be trimmed to size. Beginning with the side pieces, close the door and press the weather-stripping firmly against it. You can usually drive the screws (included with the kit) directly into the door frame. (If installing in a metal door frame, you’ll need to pre-drill pilot holes with a 1/16-in. spiral tip bit.) When attaching the strips, leave the screws proud without securing them tightly so the weather-strip- ping stays loose until all the screws have been started. Repeat the pro- cedure for the other side of the doorway. With both sides installed, measure between the two strips to determine the length of the top strip. Install the top strip with screws just like the first two strips. Close the door a few times to check the seal and make minor adjustments. The oblong screw slots enable you to back out the fasteners, move the strip as necessary and then retighten until you’ve completely closed off the gap. KEEP IT CLOSED! Depending on your lifestyle and the living habits of the people in your house, you might need to think beyond sealing your doors. My wife and I have three young kids who have a mysterious aver- sion to closing our doors. The back door that leads to a screened porch is the most likely candidate to be left wide open several times a day. The new aluminum weather- seal won’t do much good if the door is standing open. Our solution was to install a mechanical door closer on the back door—just like you see on standard screen doors. It’s a sim- ple installation that we attached
To seal an exterior door, aluminum weather- stripping can be easily cut with metal snips and screwed along the door jamb. A rubber bulb along the strip compresses against the door to close off air gaps.