In today’s post, you are going to learn several things: what a terrible procrastinator I am, how awesome I am at haiku, and six products that will help you vanquish any evil gaps you have terrorizing your home.
Awesome haiku skills? Check.
Confession: I’ve tolerated that heat-sucking, cold-draft-producing gap at our front door for far too long. The whole two years we’ve lived in this house, in fact. Because I tend to procrastinate the projects that don’t involve pretty paint and vintage treasures and sparkly gold leaf and that do involve slightly less-glamorous practical, down-to-earth problem solving.
Thankfully for our gas bill, the theme for February’s post in partnership with Ace Hardware was all about seasonal maintenance and it was just the push I needed to tackle weather-proofing the front door and our drafty sliding glass door off the kitchen. Especially given the cold front we’ve had here in Dallas this week – I’m sure this doesn’t look like anything to you guys further north, but we cheerily refer to it as our yearly “ice-pocalypse” here in Texas.
Knowing that extra-cold temperatures were headed this way, I stopped by my local Ace to pick up some supplies. I wasn’t sure exactly what I needed to complete this project, but the manager was so helpful in suggesting various products and explaining how they worked. I came home with an assortment to try out, so here you go…
Six Products to Help Seal Gaps and Fight Drafts
- Kerf-Fit Replacement Door Set (Similar here)
- Large Gap D-Profile Rubber Tape (Ace Hardware, Similar here)
- Rope Caulk (Ace Hardware, Similar here)
- All Purpose Caulk
- 1/4” Closed Cell Sponge Tape
- Polypropylene V-Shaped Fin
For the front door, I originally came home with the large gap D-profile rubber weather-stripping, however the helpful guy I spoke to at Ace had warned me that it might not solve my problem…
See how the light shining through the gap gets wider at the bottom of the door? He explained that sometimes that’s caused by the door not hanging square within the door frame. If that’s the case, the weather-stripping really doesn’t help much and you need to shim the door to hang properly first. In my case, the door actually IS hanging perfectly within the frame, so I assumed the problem was that the old weather-stripping had just worn down more at the bottom.
So I installed the D-gap rubber tape (it’s peel and stick – it couldn’t be easier) only to discover that, as the manager had suggested, it really didn’t solve my gap problems at all. I was stumped because it really didn’t seem as though the door was hanging diagonally in any way, so I called up my dad for suggestions. He had me stand outside the door and inspect the door jamb and sure enough – there was my problem.
My front door is warped.
The top and bottom of the door curve inwards slightly from the door frame, meaning they don’t make contact with the door jamb when the door is closed. Meaning it needs to be replaced, but that wasn’t exactly in the budget at the moment! We figured that surely we could find something that would work for the time being until I can afford to replace the door.
Back I went to Ace and spent some time just standing in the aisle with the weather-stripping brainstorming. I came home with the kerf-fit door set because that’s the kind of weatherproofing the door had before – it had just started to break down over time.
Kerf Door Seal
Kerf door seal is v-shaped foam covered by a weatherproof coating like vinyl. When the door closes, it compresses the v-shape and makes a tight seal.
You install it into a kerf, or slot, cut in your door frame. It has plastic teeth that you push into the slot to hold it in place. It was pretty straightforward to install, but my fingers definitely got a little sore from pushing/pulling the teeth into the gap!
Once I installed the door set, I stood back and noticed that the gap was considerably diminished! It was only noticeable at the bottom of the door, the most warped section.
This is where I had to get a little creative. This solution isn’t necessarily ideal or “correct”, but it’s what I landed upon to tide us over until we can replace the front door…
Large Gap D-Profile Rubber Tape
I cut a strip of the D-profile rubber tape to fit the part of the door that was the most warped – approximately the bottom 24”. I stuck it onto the door frame tucked slightly behind the kerf-fit door seal, like this:
This helped further bridge the gap, leaving only a small stubborn space at the bottom. Enter the rope caulk…
I’m hailing rope caulk as the most fun home improvement product out there. It’s like a really firm clay that you get to push into place and mold to fit whatever gaps you have. It’s not permanent, so you can peel it off again later. Again, this isn’t a long-term solution for our front door, but it was the last piece I needed to seal off that stubborn gap at the base. It’s not pretty, but that’ll do pig, that’ll do.
The end result of all my labors? A door now free from evil gaps and my boosted sense of self-esteem for overcoming the challenge:
On to the sliding glass door. It opens off our kitchen and guess what – it also needs to be replaced!
It doesn’t sit particularly square within its frame and it’s just kind of a huge pain and very drafty. I can’t wait to hopefully replace it with a beautiful French door set! But for now, I wanted to see if I could help cut down on some of the drafty-ness.
All Purpose Caulk
I like these squeeze tubes of caulk because my little hands find caulk guns hard to wrangle.
One of the biggest draft issues with the patio door is that it doesn’t have any sort of trim where the door meets the drywall. That fact was covered up by the brown paper that was on the walls previously, but there have just been gaps around the door ever since I stripped the paper off, oh, last summer. (I told you I was a procrastinator!)
It took just a few minutes to caulk around the door frame and I was totally kicking myself for not doing it sooner! (Please excuse the ugly bare drywall. The kitchen makeover will progress soon!)
Next, I decided to try adding a little sponge tape at the end where the door slides in to help insulate it. Since the door doesn’t sit very well in its frame, I thought this might help fill the gap.
Closed-Cell Sponge Tape
I placed two strips of the 1/4” closed cell sponge tape inside the door frame so the door compresses them when it closes.
V-Shaped Polypropylene Fin
Finally, because that door is just the bane of my existence, I decided to try out one more product to help keep out all the cold air I could! The v-shaped fin is really kind of fun – it’s so simple, but ingenious. You cut the strip to the length you need and then fold it in half along the middle groove to make a v-shape. It’s peel and stick and so easy to install.
The point of the v faces out so the fin can compress when the door closes and keep any air from sneaking around the gap!
After these measures, I can move my hand along the door and not feel any cold air whistling through now! Success!
I couldn’t be more excited to be a member of the Ace Bloggers panel this year and to partner with Ace on this post! Ace Hardware provided me with the materials for this project and I was also compensated for my time and this post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.