Last year, I hung a new basement door for the outside access. This was needed because the original door was wooden and had begun to rot. I had installed weather stripping along the door stop and left it at that because I had many other things to take care of. Now, with fall right around the corner, my attention has been drawn back to the door.
The first thing that caught my attention was the view I had of the door every time I came down the stairs. Staring me in the eye was that sliver of light. This is never a good thing when you’re thinking about how you can further seal up your house (considering it has just been done last year). So, I set about fixing this eye sore.
The first thing to do was hammer the weather stripping back down. Apparently, over the year, the tiny nails that held in the weather stripping had backed out a bit. This is probably due to the fact that you had to slam the door to get it shut all the way. I also double checked that the weather stripping was sealing properly. To do this, I used a piece of paper and shut the door on it. If it was tough to pull out, great. If it pulled out without any effort, I adjusted the weather stripping.
The next step was to caulk around the door stop piece. This was quick and easy. However, I also noticed that my hammering on the weather striping nails had caused the aluminum rail to buckle slightly creating a small gap. So, I went ahead and caulked that edge up too.
I didn’t just stop there though. Just to be sure that it was all sealed well, I caulked the inside of the door stop as well. This should add some extra assurance against leaks as well as help insulate a small amount.
To top it all off, I needed to add some way to seal the bottom of the door. I’m sure this contributes a fair amount of the cold air getting into the house in winter. So, I tried to put a strip of stick on weather stripping on the door itself so it seals against the side of the lowest step. I’m not too fond of this idea, but we’ll see how it holds up.