How to seal doors for the winter in 6 easy steps (2023)

While winter brings the peaceful beauty of snow and the warmth of gathering indoors around a warm, blazing fire, it also brings with it the need to protect your home from the harsh winter elements. Whether your home is a century old or brand new, chances are it needs a little maintenance when it comes to keeping it safe over the winter. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to ensure your exterior doors are fully sealed against wind, rain, snow and other outside elements.

How to seal doors for the winter.

  1. tighten the hinges
  2. Add a port scan
  3. gap sealing
  4. Install Valla
  5. Use a door snake
  6. Caulk your doors (and maybe your windows too)

No matter where you live or how old your house is, you need to make sure it is winterized every year. Every gap and crack in exterior doors and windows represents an opportunity for extreme weather to invade your home, increasing your energy bills and, in some cases, your family's discomfort. In fact, air leaks can account for up to 30-40% of heating and cooling losses in your home. And all types of doors: garage doors, French doors, sliding doors, attic doors, etc. - present opportunities for cold air to enter.

The good news is that it doesn't take much effort to make sure your exterior doors stay tight in the winter. We'll walk you through everything you need to know to ensure your home is safe from the worst that winter can bring.

How to seal doors for the winter.

1. Tighten the hinges

It is not uncommon for air to escape when the door hinges move from their original position. First, check the following: simply lift the door by the handle. If the door moves up, tighten the top hinge screws in the door.door frameand see if that solves the problem.

2. Add a port scan

Installing a door sweep at the bottom of all exterior doors is a quick and easy way to prevent unwanted winter air leaks by creating a tight seal at the bottom of the door. Generally, the door weatherstrip consists of a rubber strip attached to the front of the door or a brush-like strip running along the underside. If the door sweep is bent, torn, or damaged, it's likely letting in drafts. A properly installed door sweeper can prevent cold air from seeping under the door and can easily secure it without having to trim the door. You can also find wheeled sweepers that level uneven floors.

(Video) How to Weatherstrip Doors- DIY Home Improvement

To make sure it fits you, close the door, measure the length and cut to size. You will find different types of sweepers including heavy duty, drip cap and brush. So it's best to ask one of the experts at your local hardware store for a recommendation to ensure you're getting the best sweeper for your money. Door sweeps come in all sorts of materials, from aluminum to vinyl, and some are easier to install than others.

If you have an old door sweep that you need to remove first, you can usually do so by prying it off with a utility knife, which can also be used to scrape old grout. In some cases, you might even want to use a razor blade to remove stubborn grout.

Typically you can attach a door sweep with the screws that come with the door sweep itself. Be sure to place the cut end of the bar on the hinge side of the door to protect people from sharp edges when opening and closing the door.

3. Closing gaps

Leaving exterior door crevices, including your garage door, empty not only allows cold air and moisture to enter your home, but in some cases, it also allows unwanted pests to enter from the outside. The first thing you should do is take stock. Find out where you have gaps around your exterior doors and estimate their size. If you havedouble entrance doors, also pay attention to the distance between the connectors.

To close these gaps, you can back out and level a door's hinges to fill the gaps around the door. This has the added benefit of making the door easier to seal as well. As an extra step, you can adjust the latches and latches to ensure your exterior doors fit snugly in their jambs. For doors that are slightly uneven or warped, you can also use foam tape to seal the gaps. High tack foam tape is a great weatherproof alternative - all you have to do is cut it and then apply the tape in places where there are air leaks.


4. Install the gasket

The weather band is one of your most important and effective weapons against cold and damp during the winter season. It's easy to install and doesn't require any special tools, so even beginners can get it up and running in just a few steps. In most cases you can attach the stripping without removing the swing door. You can probably find different types of wire stripper at any well-stocked hardware store. Your choice of wrapped foam ball, metal flange, vinyl or silicone.

Whatever material you choose, you will cut it to the full length of the door; You want it to be squeezed tightly down the length of the door. After thoroughly cleaning the door frame with a mild detergent and warm water, dry it thoroughly. Then secure the weatherstrips in place. Some strippers may also come with an adhesive that can help hold them in place. Open and close the door several times during installation to ensure it is snug against the door frame, but not so tight that the door is stuck or difficult to open and close.

5. Use a door snake

Door snakes are very effective ways to block air leaks from doors and windows. These heavy fabric tubes provide extra insulation that can keep out unwanted cold or moisture. You can buy ready made door snakes or make your own.

If you're not very smart and don't mind the snake shape of your door, you can simply roll up a towel and place it next to any opening in a door or window. You will be surprised how effective it is.

6. Caulk your doors (and maybe your windows too)

Over time, the sealing around windows and doors can deteriorate and lose its effectiveness. It's a good idea to invest in a few tubes of caulk every fall, before the temperature really drops, so you can refresh the seal around the outside doors. Even just updating the areas with air leaks will likely make a big difference.


Caulking is a fairly easy DIY project that even a beginner can handle. And while you're at it, you can also reseal your windows, which are known to let drafts through.

4 advantages of watertight doors

Closing exterior doors in winter requires some work, but it also comes with a variety of benefits, including:

1. Temperature control

Cold air leaks make indoor spaces uncomfortable in winter and make it difficult for the heating system to keep the temperature at a constant and comfortable level. The same is true in the summer, when openings around doors and windows allow valuable conditioned air to escape and warm, humid outside air to take its place.

One point to note: If you already have a wooden driveway, you already have an advantage.Wooden entrance doorsThey are known to be highly insulating, preventing unwanted heat and cold from entering your home.

2. Energy saving

The harder your heating system has to work to maintain the modulated temperature, the more money you spend on energy. Not only does cold air enter through the openings around doors and windows, but on the contrary, warm and comfortable air also escapes through the same openings. Ensuring that all doors and windows are tightly closed can make a world of difference to your winter utility bills. By some estimates, energy costs associated with heat loss can be reduced by 15 to 18 percent when exterior doors are properly sealed and insulated.

(Video) How to Winter-Proof Your House and Save Money!

Lower energy bills not only have the benefit of costing you less in the short term, they can also improve the resale value of your home. Investing in insuring your exterior doors can pay off financially when it comes time to sell your home.

3. Avoid unwanted pests

It's an ugly truth that rooms big enough to let cold air through are also big enough for unwanted pests to invade your home. After all, they also want to stay warm!

4. Better air quality

It may seem counterintuitive to allow a few gaps here and there to allow for natural ventilation, but energy experts generally do not recommend this approach. One of the main reasons for this is that rooms let in not only fresh air but also dust, dirt and allergens from the outside, which degrades indoor air quality. Sealing your home from unwanted foreign objects can ensure that you, your family and your guests enjoy the best indoor air possible.

Sealing doors for the winter is an easy and inexpensive DIY project

Keeping exterior doors sealed against the outside elements is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to maintain a cozy interior, control your energy bills, and deter unwanted winter pests. With a little time and effort, you can ensure that all of the exterior doors in your home are doing their job of protecting you from the cold, wind, and moisture.

Regardless of your DIY skills, here you can choose one of the options (or even combine a few) to keep your home warm and cozy in winter. And if after your efforts you find that a replacement exterior door is the best solution, our team is here to help! We will be happy to recommend you a suitable and stylish exterior door that will protect your home from the elements for years.

(Video) How To Replace A Door Weatherstrip Seal [Easy DIY]


How do you winterize drafty doors? ›

Placing a draft guard at the bottom of your door where it meets the threshold. Alternatively, you can roll up a blanket or towel and place it at the base of your exterior or interior doors to keep cold drafts out. Closing your door with the deadbolt to strengthen the seal around the door.

How do you seal a door gap in cold weather? ›

Foam tape is an effective way to secure these gaps. You can pick up a pack of foam tape from any hardware store for just a few dollars. Simply stick strips of it in the holes between the door and the wall and you'll create a much snugger fit.

How do I keep my door from freezing in my house? ›

If the door that's freezing has tracks, try using a lubricant like WD-40. Lubricating the tracks of a sliding door can work because most lubricants have a lower freezing point than water, which prevents the door from freezing shut. You can also try using lubricant around the door's threshold if it's not a sliding door.

What can I put around a drafty door? ›

Sweeps and Shoes

For the bottom of your door, sweeps or shoes are another simple fix that will stop a draft. Sweeps have an aluminum housing that is screwed into the door face. A brush, neoprene or vinyl insert covers the gap between the bottom of the door and the ground.

How do I seal the air in my door? ›

For the trim around doors and windows, caulk or non-expanding foam sealant spray is a cheap and easy way to seal air leaks. Use caulk for any gaps a quarter inch or less.

Will WD-40 keep locks from freezing? ›

WD-40 is very effective at keeping your car door lock lubricated and frost-free. Simply spray a little into the lock and it should prevent ice and frost buildup for several days. While you're at it, you may want to spray a little into the lock of your trunk as well.

Does closing all doors keep house warmer? ›

Remember to keep your doors closed

About 35% of heat escapes through walls, windows, and doors. Closing your doors is a simple, very effective way to keep your house warmer this winter. Leaving every door wide open or even slightly ajar, can help spread colder air around your home.

How do you winterize a door? ›

How to Insulate Doors
  1. Use the deadbolt for easy insulation. How's this for a tip — it's an easy and free way to insulate your door! ...
  2. Add a draft guard to block cold air. Don't want to buy a draft guard? ...
  3. Install door gaskets for a tighter seal. ...
  4. Buy a new door. ...
  5. Upgrade your pet door.

What are the three types of door weather stripping? ›

Today, there are three main types of weatherstripping: tubular, metal-leaf, and kerf-in. Most are easy to install and require few special tools. Prehung exterior doors typically come with weatherstripping attached, which can be easily removed before installing the unit so you can better see the 1⁄8-in.

How do you seal door gaps from bugs? ›

Use Caulk to Seal Damaged Area

Be careful, moveable joints on frames are crucial for opening and closing—don't caulk over these areas! Smooth the new caulk with a caulking tool to clean up lines and create an even surface. For even more protection against bugs, install door sweeps and weather stripping.

How do I keep mice from coming under my door? ›

These gaps under the door are an instant spot for rodents to enter to find food or shelter.
The solutions prescribed may vary from:
  1. Clean up an area where rodents have been.
  2. Remove areas of harborage.
  3. Remove food sources and or water sources.
  4. Exclude areas where the rodents can enter the home.
Jan 20, 2020

How do you seal a door gap in the winter? ›

You can use caulk around your front door, sliding glass door, and french doors to create a strong barrier against cold weather. Apply caulk around your exterior doors, taking special care to fill the visible gaps and cracks. Let it dry overnight and re-caulk if you still see openings between your door and the frame.

Does door seal go on the inside or outside? ›

For a door that swings inward, install the brush seal on the inside bottom edge. If the door swings outward, attach it to the outside bottom edge of the door.

What can I put outside my door to keep bugs away? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide: Put a little bit of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, and spread it liberally over your home's patio and other surfaces. Make sure to spray the perimeter of your outdoor living space, as well — that will prevent bugs from getting close to you and anyone else.

What naturally keeps bugs away? ›

Lemongrass, citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella, catnip, and lavender oils all possess properties that repel bugs. The oils can be used individually or combined to make a simple anti-bug potion. Mix about 1 cup of water with 25-30 total drops of oil into a small spray bottle.

Does vinegar keep bugs away? ›

In addition to being a great cleaning agent, vinegar is effective in deterring many types of pests. Ants despise the smell of vinegar, and vinegar will wipe out the scent trails they leave around the house to navigate.

What scent will keep mice away? ›

Mice can be kept away by using the smells of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs.

What scared away mice? ›

Some strong scents people often use as a natural mouse repellent include lavender, peppermint oil, other natural essential oils, and vinegar solutions.

Can mice sneak under doors? ›

Possible points of entry for mice to get into your home include: Gaps around windows. Cracks under doors.

How do I make my front door airtight? ›

  1. Tack the strips in place and open them slightly to create a tight seal. If using V-Seal weather strip, cut them with scissors and fold them lengthwise along the seam. ...
  2. You can create a double seal by putting tube baskets with metal backing on the outside of the door.


1. How to Insulate Windows and Save Money on Heating Costs!
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2. How To Install BOTTOM DOOR SEALS--2 TYPES!! (Keep Out Bugs/Light/Water/Drafts/Sound...DOOR SWEEP!)
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3. Top 15 Home Winterizing Tips to Save You Money
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4. How to draught-proof windows
5. FIX LIGHT GAPS AROUND DOORS! (Easy Trick For Gaps Bottom Of Door / Corner Seal Pads / Weatherstrip)
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6. How to adjust PVC window/door for tighter seal (Winter vs Summer mode)
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