How to Replace a Worn Out Door Bottom Weatherstrip

The bottom weatherstrip (or door sweep) on the exterior door was worn out after 8+ years of daily use. I noticed the problem when wind driven rainwater leaked under the door. The weatherstrip needs to be snug against the door threshold for a good seal and it wears out over time when the door is opened and closed.

The new part cost about $9.00 from Home Depot and the repair was performed in about 10 minutes.

How to Replace a Worn Out Door Bottom Weatherstrip

Worn Out Door Weatherstrip

Worn Out Door Weatherstrip

Remove the Exterior Door

With a helper holding the door, I began by removing the door from the hinges by driving out the hinge pins with a screw driver and hammer. I laid the door on its side edgewise to inspect the bottom weatherstrip (see above photo). Be careful – my metal and glass door was heavy, weighing at least 50lbs.

Door Measurements

Measure the length and width of the door. My door is 32 inches long and 1-3/4 inches wide.

I took a photo of the worn-out weatherstrip with my iPhone (like the above photo) to compare and match the part when shopping for a replacement at the hardware store.

Door Sweep Replacement Part

The replacement door bottom weatherstrip (a.k.a. doorsweep) that fits my door is a Frost King part # UDS36. I bought it at Home Depot for $8.99.

Frost King - UDS36 Replacement Door Bottom Weatherstrip

Frost King – UDS36 Replacement Door Bottom Weatherstrip

Remove the Old Door Bottom Weatherstrip

The weatherstrip is attached by barbed ribs that snap into grooves (or kerfs) in the door bottom. To remove the old weatherstrip, just pull it off as shown. I put a coat of oil-based wood preservative on the exposed wood as a waterproofing agent.

Remove the Worn Out Weatherstrip

Remove the Worn Out Weatherstrip

Install the New Door Bottom Weatherstrip

My door is 32 inches but the new weatherstrip is 36 inches long. It was necessary to cut 2 inches off both ends (4 inches total) because the barbed ribs are set back from the ends to fit a 36 inch door.

Score and Cut the Weatherstrip to Length

Score and Cut the Weatherstrip to Length

Measured the length of bottom door grove and trim the barbed ribs to fit the door as shown:

Trimming the Barbed Ribs to Fit a 32 inch Door

Trimming the Barbed Ribs to Fit a 32 inch Door

The new weatherstrip is checked for the correct length with the door bottom. The door grooves are highlighted by the red lines:

Checking the Weatherstrip Fit with the Door

Checking the Weatherstrip Fit with the Door

The weatherstrip snaps into the door bottom by the barbed ribs and grooves. The instructions call for a rubber mallet, but it was easy enough to smack it with the palm of my hand for a tight fit against the door bottom.

Note: The “tube and fin” design of the weatherstrip. I’m holding the “tube” between my thumb and finger. The weatherstrip should be installed with the tube side facing the outdoors. The tube acts as a compressible gasket to seal out the weather.

Attaching the New Door Bottom Weatherstrip

Attaching the New Door Bottom Weatherstrip

The new weatherstrip installed and ready for use:

New Door Bottom Weatherstrip Installed

New Door Bottom Weatherstrip Installed

Reinstall the door by aligning the door hinges with the hinge leaves, then replace the hinge pins.

The door shuts snugly now and is free of air drafts and water leaks.

I later decided to replace the entire exterior door and door frame with a new energy efficient model having a single pane of glass that’s easy to clean.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

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17 Responses to How to Replace a Worn Out Door Bottom Weatherstrip

  1. Gary Kamieneski October 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Can you tell me which way the door bottom is supposed to face, inside or outside? You’ll notice that it is not symmetrical and I cannot tell from your photos which is the inside part of your door. thx

  2. Bob Jackson October 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    I pondered this same question when installing the new weatherstrip. The manufacturer’s instruction didn’t indicate one way or the other. The tube side should face the outdoors. I’m holding the tube part in this photo: Door Weatherstrip

    The reasoning is tube side of the weatherstrip is a compressible gasket that will seal against the threshold to better stop drafts.

    For a premium door bottom weatherstrip, check this item by Endura Products:
    http://www.enduraproducts.com/product-overview/weatherseals/door-bottom.aspx

    Thanks,
    Bob Jackson

  3. Erik Larson November 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    I just bought this exact replacement door sweep after a disastrous attempt with a different style of sweep.

    Can you show a picture of the threshold style that you have? After all the fins tore free coming over our threshold within 1 week with the other style, I really want to get this right. :)

    • Bob Jackson November 30, 2009 at 9:05 am #

      The problem is either:
      1) insufficient clearance between the door bottom and the door sill, or
      2) the door is sagging.

      Are the fins tearing away only on the handle and lock side of the door? If so, you’re door may be sagging. If the fins are tearing away more or less evenly across the door, then the weatherstrip is being severely pinched and tearing due to lack of clearance.

      My door sill is very similar to this adjustable model by Endura Products. The cap strip on your threshold may be adjustable by turning the screws in the threshold cap. I notice adjustable cap strips are common on the prehung exterior doors sold at Lowes, having recently installed one on my garage.

      If your door is sagging, please see these remedies:
      How to Fix a Sagging Door
      How to Fix Sagging French Doors

      Post back and let us know what you find.

      Bob Jackson

  4. Erik Larson November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks for the info. My threshold is similar to the one pictured, but for being rounded on top.

    The problem with the U-shaped replacement sweep was most definitely insufficient clearance–it was apparently intended for saddle-type thresholds. Oops!

    The Stanley-style replacement is working well.

  5. D. Palmer February 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your advice. Would you happen to know the spacing of the grooves in the bottom of your door (and thus the spacing of the tabs on the new door bottom)? I’m not sure what kind of door I have, but I know it has grooves, and it looks an awful lot like yours. Last time I went shopping all I could find was stick-on weatherstripping. I’ll order that UDS36 if we have the same size. Thank you.

    D. Palmer

    • Bob Jackson February 10, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      I don’t recall the spacing between the grooves for the snap-in door bottom sweep. 3/4″, 7/8″ and 15/16″ are common spacings between the door bottom grooves. To figure out which door sweep you need without a lot of extra work, open the door and pry down the end of the weatherstrip with a screwdriver just enough so you can measure the center-to-center spacing between the barbs of the weatherstrip, then buy the door sweep that matches at the hardware store or Amazon.com – Door Bottom Sweeps.

  6. Tom June 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks, Bob!

  7. Al Weinberger July 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I have a drop down strip on the exterior side of my kitchen door. it is not working properly anymore. It’s been on for several years now. What is your take on this item? My local hardware store doesn’t carry them. I didn’t try Home Depot yet.

    • Bob Jackson July 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Endura Products makes probably the best door bottom weatherstrip available. An exterior strip isn’t need with the Endura door bottom. Visit their website to locate a dealer – usually a millwork or building supply company.

      Home Depot and Lowes usually have exterior drip strips made by other manufacturers, best to avoid the plastic stick-on models and get an aluminum unit that attaches with screws for durability.

  8. Dave Small September 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I am having trouble locating the quality bulb type door bottom seal you refer to because my door grooves are 1 1/4″ spacing. door is standard 35 3/4″ x 1 3/4″. any suggestions?

    • Bob Jackson September 3, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Open the door and see if there’s a manufacturer’s label somewhere on the top or side near the hinges, if so, contact the manufacturer for a replacement sweep. Also try All About Doors & Windows Parts and Services – because their door sweep web page is very detailed.

      If you can’t find a direct replacement door bottom with 1-1/4″ kerf spacing, consider a screw-on or staple-on model.

  9. Venkat Nandam December 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Hi,

    I need a weatherstrip that has barbed tips 3/4 inch apart, the strip itself being 1 and 3/4 or 1 and 7/8″ wide. Have any recommendations on the manufacturer or brand name for weatherstrips meet these dimensions please?

    Thanks,
    Venkat

    • BobJackson December 13, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      The barbed mounting ribs on the Frost King UDS36 are spaced 1 inch apart center-to-center, which won’t fit your 3/4 inch spacing requirement. Recommend a visit to the home improvement store and compare measurements with the door sweeps in stock.

  10. April W. January 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Hi Bob,
    Thank you so much for the great detail and info. I was searching Lowes, Home Depot and other hardware stores like Ace without any luck. Finally, after viewing this site we were able to find the correct part and number. We have a Stanley door with grooves. Finally found part at a farther HD. We took the door off and with in 10 min the strip was in, stapled and door rehung. Thanks especially for the detail about the tube and fin. We appreciate all your help as new home owners we need all the help we can get!!
    Thanks,
    April W.
    Phoenixville, PA

  11. Mike October 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    I noticed on your pictures some mild breakdown on the wood of the door. My back door is over 30 years (some say closer to 45 years), and when I pulled the door down to start the repair I hoped like most other older (and cheaper) things, I had the proper weather lining for the replace job. What I found was about an inch of hollow door on one side and the other side had 1 groove and was still healthy wood. What I did was fill the hollow part with wood glue and wait 2 days. Now the door works and looks great. Thanks!

  12. Eric Griffith February 11, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Bob….Just to Clarify something….I cannot put the tube side to the Outdoors, since My door swings to the inside.
    You may want to let the others know about that necessary option.

    Thanks,Eric

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