It is essential to be able to close your door tight against weather stripping, and one of the main reasons is specific energy efficiency.
A gap between the door and the weather stripping will undoubtedly affect how well you’re able to heat and cool your home, but it is also a factor that compromises your overall security.
Luckily, fixing the issue of the door not closing tight against weather stripping isn’t too complicated, and most of the methods we’ll discuss in this guide are completely beginner-friendly.
Why is a door not closing tight against weather stripping?
The role of weather stripping is to seal the gaps around your door so that cold air cannot enter your home. In the winter, this is important to keep your home warm.
In the summer, weather stripping helps keep your home cool by keeping the cool air inside. Weather stripping is an integral part of having a functional door.
Many times, people will assume that their door isn’t closing properly because it isn’t level when the issue is with the weather stripping.
If your weather stripping is old or worn out, it can cause your door not to close all the way. Sometimes, you may have to replace the entire weather stripping on your door.
The door wasn’t correctly installed/is damaged.
It is possible that your door isn’t closing properly because it wasn’t correctly installed in the first place.
It could be that the frame isn’t level, causing the door to catch on the threshold. Sometimes, it is necessary to adjust the frame so that the door closes properly.
However, if the door frame is warped or damaged, you may need to replace it entirely.
Another possibility is that the hinges aren’t aligned properly. This can usually be fixed by simply adjusting them. However, if the hinges are damaged, you may need to replace them.
The door may be warped or damaged if neither seems to be the problem. In this case, the only solution would be to replace the door.
The weather stripping wasn’t correctly installed.
Another potential reason your door isn’t closing tight against the weather strip is that the stripping wasn’t correctly installed.
This happens when the door is too wide for the stripping or when the stripping is cut too short. Either way, you’ll need to remove the old weather stripping and install a new stripping that fits appropriately.
Another mistake people make when weather stripping their door is not installing a lip on the bottom of the door. This lip, called a threshold, helps to keep out drafts and moisture. Without it, your weather stripping won’t be as effective.
What’s more, it could be that the weather strip is old and needs to be replaced. Over time, weather stripping can become brittle and lose its shape. In that case, you’ll need to purchase new weather stripping and install it.
The weather stripping is compressed
Another problem that could be preventing the door from shutting tightly is compressed weather stripping.
This means that the seal around the door is worn and no longer as snug as it once was.
This happens over time, as the door is opened and closed, and extreme weather conditions only contribute to it.
If you live in an area with very hot summers or cold winters, or your home is near the ocean, this might be a problem for you.
How to fix a door not closing tight against the weather stripping
As we’ve mentioned, most of the methods of fixing your door that won’t close properly due to weather stripping issues require little to no expertise and time.
1. Check if the door is installed correctly/damaged
The first step would be to inspect the door and check if it is correctly installed. If it isn’t, you might need to uninstall it and then reinstall it correctly.
To reinstall the door, start by attaching the top door hinge to the door with the screws provided. Make sure that the hinge is correctly aligned before tightening the screws.
Next, attach the bottom door hinge in the same manner. Once both hinges are in place, you can reattach the door knob or handle.
Finally, check to ensure the door is aligned correctly and close it to test the fit. If everything looks good, your door should be ready for use.
If you’re having trouble aligning the hinges, try loosening the screws slightly and adjusting the position of the door until it’s where you want it. Once everything is lined up, tighten the screws to secure the door.
It is also essential to check the door for any accumulated debris or dirt that might prevent it from closing correctly. If you find any, clean it off and see if that solves the problem.
It is also highly probable that an alignment issue prevents the door from closing correctly against weather stripping.
To check the alignment, look at the door from the outside and see if it is level with the door frame. You will need to adjust the hinges accordingly if it isn’t.
Finally, you should check the door for any damage that might be causing it not to close correctly.
If you find any, you will need to repair or replace the damaged part, such as a loose doorknob, with a faulty door latch.
2. Inspect the weather stripping/install new weather stripping
Old or damaged weather stripping on your door may very well be why you can’t close the door all the way.
You can usually find the problem by visually inspecting the door. If you see any light coming in around the edges of the door or the door gap, then you know that’s where the problem is.
You can either replace the weather stripping yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
To replace the weather stripping, the first step would be to remove the old one. You can do this by gently pulling it off the door.
If it’s very old and brittle, the stripping may break apart as you remove it. Once the old weather stripping is removed, measure the length and width of the area where the new one will go.
Cut the new weather stripping to size and then attach it to the door using adhesive or nails. Ensure that the new weather stripping is snug against the door so no light can come in.
Another factor to remember when installing new weather stripping around your door is the door’s sweep.
The sweep is the long, skinny piece of metal or plastic that hangs down from the bottom of the door and rests against the threshold when the door is shut.
If your old sweep is damaged, it won’t seal properly against the threshold and will let cold air into your home.
If you notice that the door sweep is broken or damaged, simply remove the old sweep by unscrewing it from the door, then screw the new sweep in its place.
3. Check if the weather stripping is compressed
Finally, it will need to be replaced if the weather stripping around the door is compressed, cracked, or otherwise damaged.
Check the door frame and the door itself for any signs of damage. If the weather stripping is in good condition, clean it with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
To increase the longevity of the weather stripping and protect it against compression, you can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or silicone spray, which will act as a protective layer.
However, keep in mind that the only efficient method of ensuring that the weather stripping is doing its work is replacing it as soon as you notice it is warped or damaged.