How to Replace Exterior Door Seals

Exterior door seals include weatherstripping along the top and sides of the door and the threshold at the foot of the door. Keeping them well-maintained and replacing worn seals helps to keep heating and cooling costs to a minimum and prevents wind and moisture from damaging interior surfaces. Check your door regularly for signs of light along the side, top and bottom edges. Small squares of light in the corners cannot always be helped, but light shining around any of the edges of your door is a sign its time to replace the seal.


Maintaining seals on exterior doors minimizes heating and coooling costs.
  1. Remove the old weatherstripping by pulling it from the joint in the door jamb on pre-hung doors. Pry nailed-down weatherstrip from the face of the jamb with a flat pry-bar and scrape weatherstrip tape off with a razor scraper. Keep a piece of weatherstrip for comparison. Use the same or a similar style for ease of replacement. Replace the weatherstrip on both sides and the top of your door at the same time to ensure a good seal.
  2. Measure and cut your weatherstrip to length to fit all three sides of your door. Scissors will work for most types, if your has a metal strip, use tin snips to cut it to length.
  3. Shove the vinyl bead into the groove in a pre-hung jamb, reinstalling it in the reverse of removal. Use a putty knife or other flat, thin blade. Start at the top and work down. Nail metal edged strip to the face of the jamb with a small tack hammer. Use the nails in the strip for best results. Peel the protective layer from the back of adhesive weatherstrip about 6 inches at a time. Stick it down firmly, starting at the top and working in a straight line, keeping it against the door stop molding.


  1. Remove the screws, using a cordless drill, and pry the threshold from the bottom of the door frame with a pry bar. Keep the old threshold for use as a template. Make sure your new threshold is the same height and width and at least as long as the original before marking or cutting.
  2. Set the old threshold on top of the new and mark around it as a pattern. Cut the new threshold along the pattern lines with a jigsaw. File off any rough edges on aluminum thresholds before installing.
  3. Run a bead of 100 percent silicone caulking around the outside edge of the threshold's bottom and set it into the bottom of the door frame. Tap it into place with a rubber mallet and drive one 3-inch treated deck screw through each hole in the top of the threshold to pull it firmly to the sill below.

Things You Will Need

  • Pry-bar
  • Scraper
  • Scissors
  • Tin snips
  • Putty knife
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • File
  • Silicone caulk
  • Rubber mallet
  • Treated deck screws

About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.

Photo Credits

  • Red Doors to the Restrooms image by steverts from Fotolia.com