Over time, an exterior door's bottom seal can deteriorate and break. When this happens, cold air often can slip into the home and cause drafts. As a result, these chilly busts of air can end up costing you more money in the form of higher heating bills.
Fortunately, even a do-it-yourselfer who's a beginner can replace a bottom door seal in less than an hour. All you have to do is be willing to make the effort, as well as the access to a few tools. The only tools required are a screwdriver, a drill, a drill bit and a hacksaw.
You can purchase a U-shaped bottom door seal at any home improvement store for less than $20, and most will fit any standard exterior door. Stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's offer additional information regarding special sizes on their websites, or just call your local location.
To install a bottom door seal, you obviously must first remove the old one. You can often just use your hands to pull it away from the bottom of the door, which should be easy enough. However, a screwdriver or a small pry-bar can also help if it's old or just being stubborn. A tool will most likely be more helpful if there are layers of paint in the way, and it's also always helpful to clean the area and remove any grime or dust that may be intrusive, as well. And think -- it's another excuse to clean up a bit! Once you've removed the old bottom door seal, slide the new one in its place and use a pencil to make a marking where you will need to trim the excess material.
You should then use a hacksaw to cut the excess material. However, in some cases, a set of scissors can work to cut the excess material.
Next, slide the U-shaped bottom door seal into place and, once again, use your pencil to mark the door where the screws should be installed. In DIY home improvement fixer-uppers like this, feel free to make as many pencil marks as you need. It's better to have everything fitting in place, and all you'll have to do is erase at the end.
Then, using a drill and drill bit that is about half the diameter of the screws that came along with the replacement bottom door seal, drill pilot holes in the door where you made the pencil marks for the screws. Next, use the screwdriver to attach the screws to the door.
Finally, swing the door closed and then open it up to make sure that the bottom door seal makes a tight seal with the bottom of the doorframe.
Just a few easy steps and not only will you have a cleaner, more efficient door but also the air in your home will be warm and your heating bill will go down.
Mark J. Donovan's website is at http://www.homeadditionplus.com.