As a home gets older, it is no surprise that regular maintenance will need to be performed to fix the wear and tear on the house. Doors can become misaligned over the years, resulting in gaps between the door and the frame. If you live in a colder climate, gaps in your front door can be a headache because the gap will let in all the cold air and wind from the winter months. Even in warm climates, a gapless door is important because it will help keep out bugs.
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There are a few signs that help indicate when a door needs a bit of extra care and attention. If you can feel a draft as you pass the door or when you hold a hand up to the door jamb, then this means air is passing through, and the gap has become an issue. Seeing light shine through the gap in the doorway or if the door has a difficult time opening or closing are other signs that the door is off kilter and needs adjusting.
Tighten the Hinges
The first place to check is the hinges. Grab the doorknob and lift up. If the door moves up and down, then the hinges need tightening. Door hinges can become loose over time, and a simple tightening of the screws could be a quick fix.
It's possible that you encounter a problem tightening the screws where the screws turn in place with no resistance. This means the screws have worn out the wood surrounding the tip of the screws and won't hold in place any longer. If this is the case, then the screws need to be replaced with wider screws or longer screws so that they can attach to a more secure part of the wood.
Replace the Weatherstripping
Gaps in your front door can occur if the weatherstripping around the door is aged or broken. Replacing weatherstripping is not a difficult job and can be done at a relatively low cost. It is normally a silicone tubelike object that lines the frame of your door. Weatherstripping can also be made of metal, felt, vinyl, or even foam. Remove the weatherstripping from around the door, making sure to remove all debris left behind. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
Measure the top, sides, and bottom of the door frame where the weatherstripping will be installed and note these measurements. Cut the weatherstripping according to the measurements and begin the installation according to the product's instructions. The weatherstripping may need to be installed using an adhesive backing, a snap-in system, or with small 1 1/2-inch flathead nails. Make sure that the weatherstripping meets at the corners perfectly and creates a tight seal.
Install a Door Sweep
A door sweep runs along the bottom of the door to help create an airtight seal and is installed separately from the weatherstripping. The door sweep has a long metal piece attached to a rubber strip that lays flat against the door. Door sweeps usually come in standard sizes but can be cut down to fit your door. Screw the metal piece along the bottom of your door with the provided screws, making sure the rubber overlaps with the door jamb.