Double doors are not only highly functional, but they also represent a very powerful aesthetic element in your home.
However, their functionality will be compromised mainly if there’s a gap between the doors. You may not be able to close them properly, energy efficiency will also be decreased, and your security may also be at risk.
Luckily, sealing the gap between double doors is rarely a task for a professional since you can fix this problem using only a few simple supplies and tools.
Why is there a gap between double doors?
If you have double doors in your home, you may have noticed a gap between the two doors. This gap can be a source of drafts and let in unwanted pests.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to seal the gap and keep your home comfortable and pest-free.
However, before we discuss the different methods of sealing gaps between double doors, let’s see what could be the reason for this gap and how you can prevent this issue in the future.
1. The doors aren’t correctly aligned
If there is a gap between your double doors, the doors aren’t correctly aligned.
This happens when one of the doors isn’t properly hinged or when one of the doors is warped.
It could also be that shims weren’t used when the doors were first hung, and over time, the weight of the doors has caused them to sag slightly, creating a gap.
If there’s a gap between your doors, you can usually fix it by adjusting the hinges or adding shims. If the doors are warped, you may need to replace them.
The doors are warped or damaged.
A gap between double doors will also appear if the doors (or one of them) is warped or damaged.
The door can get damaged over time, which can cause the door to warp, creating a gap between the two doors.
If you notice this, you’ll need to adjust or replace the door entirely.
Another factor that could cause a gap between double doors is faulty weatherstripping. The weatherstripping could be damaged, compressed, or not sealing correctly.
To check the weatherstripping, open and close the door to see if there is any light around the door.
If the light is coming in, the weatherstripping must be replaced. Compressed weatherstripping can usually be fixed by simply replacing it with new weatherstripping.
It is also possible that there wasn’t any weatherstripping in the first place, causing the gap even more prominent.
Adding weatherstripping to the door is relatively easy and can be done with minimal tools.
There are many benefits to weatherstripping your double doors, such as saving energy and money on your utility bills.
It will also help keep the dust, dirt, and pests out of your home and make it safer and more comfortable.
How to seal a gap between double doors
When sealing gaps between double doors, there are many highly efficient methods to solve this issue permanently, and you can choose the one that works for your particular case depending on the problem.
1. Make sure the doors are correctly adjusted
To fix the gap between double doors, the first step is to ensure that the doors are properly aligned and leveled.
To do so, use a level and check to see if the doors are even. In case the doors aren’t aligned, you will have to take them off, and here are the steps to do that:
- Start by unscrewing the screws holding the door in place.
- Once the screws are out, carefully remove the door.
- Repeat this process for the other door.
To adjust the door shims, place them between the door and frame. Using a hammer, tap them into place until the door is level.
If you need to remove the shims, use a putty knife to pry them off. Once the doors are aligned and level, use a drill to screw the hinges into place.
There may also be a problem with door sides that are not aligned. In that case, use a chisel to shave off the excess wood until they fit together snugly.
The frame may be misaligned if the doors are not fitting correctly.
In that case, you will need to remove the trim and adjust the frame so it is level. Once the frame is level, you can replace the edge and screw it into place.
If you have followed these steps and the doors still aren’t fitting correctly, it is possible that the doorways are not level.
In that case, try using a sledgehammer to chisel the excess mortar until they are level.
If you notice that your doors are still not fitting correctly, they may be too big for the doorway.
You may need to saw off the excess material until they fit snugly or install new doors that fit into the doorway to avoid this issue.
Once you have made all of these adjustments, the doors should fit properly with no gaps between them.
2. Replace warped or damaged doors
There’s hardly anything you can do to fix warped or damaged doors, so it is best to replace them and install brand-new ones.
Here are the steps to remove old doors and then install new ones:
- Remove the old door by unscrewing the hinges from the doorframe. If the screws are stripped, use a screwdriver to pry them out.
- Measure the door opening, so you know what size door to purchase.
- Hang the new door in the doorframe and secure it with screws.
- Install the new hinges on the door. Make sure the screws are tightly secured.
- Test the door to make sure it opens and closes smoothly.
3. Install new weatherstripping
Weatherstripping has a very important function in your doors: seal the gaps around your door so that cold air cannot go in and heat cannot escape.
If the weatherstripping around your double doors is damaged or compressed, or you have none, it is time to install a fresh set.
To remove the old weatherstripping, start at one end of the door and use a putty knife or other tool to pry it up.
If the weatherstripping adheres with nails or staples, be careful not to damage the door surface as you remove them.
Once the old weatherstripping is removed, clean the door surface and frame so the new weatherstripping will adhere properly.
Next, determine the type of weatherstripping you need. Many different kinds are available, but not all are suitable for double doors. Some common types of weatherstripping include:
- Adhesive-backed foam – This type of weatherstripping is easy to install and can provide a good seal, but it will not last as long as some other types.
- V-seal weatherstripping – This type of weatherstripping has a V-shaped cross section that helps to seal the gaps around your door. It is more durable than adhesive-backed foam and can provide a better seal.
- Magnetic weatherstripping – This type of weatherstripping uses magnets to seal the door. It is easy to install and can provide a good seal, but it is not as durable as other types.
Once you have chosen the type of weatherstripping you need, measure the door, so you know how much to buy.
Then, install the weatherstripping according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Start at one end of the door and work your way around, ensuring that the weatherstripping is pressed firmly into place.
Another important factor when installing weatherstripping is ensuring the door can still close properly. If the weatherstripping is too thick, it may prevent the door from closing.
In this case, you will need to trim the weatherstripping, so it does not interfere with the door.
Once you have installed the weatherstripping, test it to ensure it is sealing correctly. Open and close the door a few times, then check to see any gaps around the door.
If you find any gaps, seal them with caulk or another sealant.
4. Seal any gaps and cracks in the doors
If the doors aren’t as severely damaged and you don’t think a replacement is in order, you may be able to seal the gaps and cracks in its structure and fill the gap between the double doors.
If your door has cracks or gaps around the perimeter, you can seal them using weatherstripping or caulking.
Weatherstripping is a strip of material that helps seal the space between the door and the frame, while caulk is a sealant that can fill in larger gaps.
To seal the gaps using caulk, apply the caulk around the door’s perimeter, making sure to fill in any cracks or gaps.
Then, use a putty knife or your finger to smooth out the caulk, so it is level with the door’s surface.
If you use weatherstripping, start by cutting the strips to size using a utility knife. Then, peel off the backing on the strips and apply them around the door’s perimeter, pressing them firmly into place.