My home is ten years old. The front door, the back patio doors, both lower and upper, and the garage door from the utility room are all solid wood doors; heavy and were not cheap. During this ten year period, I have noticed that the rubber bottoms, attached to the door have started to come off. I usually just pull the rubber and cut with a scissors. Do I have to have someone come in and remove the doors and replace this rubber? These rubber seals do help keep out the cold in the winter. I myself would not be able to take these doors off their hinges. Thanks for your info.
Your description of the door bottom weather seals is a common one. Although they are supposed to be somewhat air tight, the constant friction they get when opening and closing the doors, causes wear and tear on the rubber, eventually allowing them to deteriorate and start coming off, just as you described.
There are two basic ways of installing new seals. The first is to replace it with the same type of seal that you have now. This would require taking the door off of the hinges, taking the old seal off, and then going to get a new one.
To do this, take a screwdriver and hammer and tap the hinge pins of the door up and out of the hinges. If the door is heavy (which most entry doors are), you may need a second person to help. Once the pins are removed, gently pull the door out. You will then be able to set the door down to look at the bottom seal. These seals are usually nailed or stapled in, but sometimes, they just snap in, so you’ll have to see which way you need to remove the seal.
The next step is to find the replacement. Although the hardware stores may carry something that looks similar, it is best to find an exact match, which means going to a specialty store. I have had good luck with Genesco Doors and Windows (314/283-2563) in Westport. If you are doing more than one door, it is best to get a sample from each door. The new seal will be installed the same way the old one was, either by small nails, staples, or just snapping it in. Once you have this taken care of, just reverse the process of putting the door back on the hinges.
The second method of replacing the seal is easier to do as it usually doesn’t require taking the door off. The hardware stores will carry a variety of different seals. One that I like is called a “door shoe”. It is a “U” shaped seal that attaches to the inside of the door with small screws.
To use one of these, you’ll first have to remove as much of the old seal as possible. If you can get the whole thing out, this would be best. Once the old seal is out, the “U” shaped seal can slide under the door and be attached. The slots where the screws attach to the door allow for you to adjust the seal up or down for a good fit. Before screwing in this new seal, be sure to close the door and make sure it will fit. If it doesn’t, you may have to remove more of the old seal. When you’re done, close the door and get down on the floor to look to the outside. You should not be able to see any light under the bottom of the door. If you do, loosen the screws and adjust the seal downward until you can no longer see any outside light.
It is a fairly simple process, and once you have done one, you’ll be ready for the next. You will be happy that you took this project on and may very well feel the difference when winter comes!