Cold air, dirt, blowing snow, pests, and rain. These are all the annoying guests that invade your home uninvited. They easily creep right under your door and settle right into your home.
You’ve probably gotten tired of these undesired elements and decided to install a door sweep to solve this problem. A nice move! But how you install the sweep under the door space will determine how well it blocks these undesired elements.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics of a door sweep and teach you how to correctly install one on your door so that you can have peace of mind.
Types of door sweep
Before we get into more intimate details about installing the best door sweep, you should first get familiar with the type of door sweep you’re installing.
Door sweeps can be put into two broad categories depending on their design—namely brush and flat sweeps.
The brush type comes with flexible, densely packed nylon bristles in an aluminum retainer.
And the flat modes feature a blade (usually made of nylon) that runs along the door bottom. Some flat models have more than one blade to increase their effectiveness at forming a tight seal under your door.
The sweeps can be further expanded into specific types available on the market today including automatic, L-shaped, wrap-around, self-adhesive, slide-on door sweeps.
Let’s discuss each of these models to help you decide which one will work for you.
Strip door sweep
This is one of the most preferred door sweeps by homeowners due to its high effectiveness and convenience score. It is incredibly easy to store and takes up less floor space.
Replacing it is also hassle-free when you want to switch to a new, more effective model.
You’ll find some of the strip door sweeps featuring an adhesive backing. This simply enables them to stick to any side of the door, ensuring a hassle-free installation.
Other strip sweeps come equipped with rigid plastic or metal installation guides that you fasten to the bottom end of your door.
Also known as a self-stick, this door comes with an adhesive mechanism, so you don’t need to drill any holes to set it in place. Instead, you simply peel off the paper on its back and then press it in place.
This type of door sweep is best suited for homeowners and renters who don’t want to install permanent door sweeps to their doors.
The sweeps are usually made of flexible plastic strips and you can install them on wood as well as metal doors.
You just need to ensure you set it up at the right height so that it makes gentle contact with the floor without producing friction that affects the door's movability.
Bristle door sweep
A bristle or brush door sweep is designed for use on the exterior of your door. It comes with a brush bottom that acts as a seal against cold, rain, and other elements while at the same carrying away dirt and debris.
The brush door sweep is highly effective at locking out cold air from your home, especially during the cold winter months.
If you go with this type of sweep, however, you should keep in mind that its brushes tend to wear out with time and will need to be replaced.
While this model is good at its job, it’s not as effective as the flat/blade door sweeps.
L-shape door sweep
The L-shaped door sweep is simply L-shaped. it comes specially designed for use with exterior doors to form a weatherproof seal that helps increase your home's energy efficiency and save you money on utility bills.
But keep in mind that this type of sweep calls for more careful installation so that it works effectively.
Since these door sweeps are usually accompanied by a drip cap, they can easily divert water away from your doorway.
They also feature durable construction to enable them to withstand harsh outdoor elements and last for an extended period of time.
Slide-on door sweep
Slide-on are designed to slide into place, making them the easiest to install. No tools needed. You just slide off the old model and slide the new sweep into place. You don’t even need to remove the door to install this type of sweep in place.
Wrap-around door sweep
This door sweep has a U-shape design which enables it to wrap around your door to form tight seal against outside elements that you want to block from entering your home.
Due to its U-shape design, this door sweep can sweep both on the inside and the outside of your door. As you can clearly picture, this will give your doorway double layer protection that’s no doubt more efficient at keeping pests, smoke, cold air, etc., from entering your home.
Wrap-around door sweeps are also easy to install but you’ll need to drill new holes into your door for you to correctly set it in place. Most of these sweep models are also paintable to help you match them to the color of the door you attach them to.
Automatic door sweep
As its name suggests, this type of door sweep is automatic—meaning the seal automatically drops to form a barrier whenever you close the door. It automatically rises when you open the door and drops when you close to form a seal against those outside elements.
The advantage of choosing an automatic door bottom over a standard one is that it assures you of a tight seal.
The rubber pushes down onto the floor, preventing the seal from dragging along the floor when closing. This way, it protects the floor surface and prevents the seal from quickly wearing out.
Unlike a regular sweep, the automatic model also features a larger width which allows for a thicker seal and better protection against the undesired elements.
Installing it is also easy as you simply need to attach it to your door using screws.
Snap-In door sweep
If you’re looking for the perfect door sweep for a wooden door, a Snap-on model is a good choice. Just like a snap-in model, a Snap-on is designed to fit into the kerf cut in the bottom of your door.
You’ll find this type of sweep in varying designs and even heights to help you choose the most suitable one for your unique needs. Most of them feature a single or double kerf cut in the door bottom to allow the sweep to easily and securely lock into place.
Since the spacing of these kerf cuts tends to vary, you’ll want to ensure you match the profiles for easy installation.
The snap-in model is easy to install and doesn’t require you to remove the door. it easily fits into a kerf cut in your door bottom.
When set up correctly, a Snap-on door sweep is also good at forming a weather-tight seal against elements and help you save energy in your home (and bring down the utility bills!)
How do you install a bottom sweep on a door?
A bottom sweep is designed to install right underneath and not on the side of the door. A bottom sweep can be U-shaped. When installing this type of door sweep, follow these simple directions to set it up correctly and you don’t even need to remove the door first.
What you’ll need:
Step 1. Measure the door width
The first step is to measure the width of your door to help you get a new door sweep that fits it. if you have an old door sweep that you just removed, you can simply measure its width to obtain the size of your new sweep.
Step 2. Cut the new door width
Next, you’ll need to trim your new door sweep to get a length that fits your door bottom.
Grab the new sweep and slide it down the door length until it reached the other end of the bottom of the door. if any excess part of the bottom sweep remains, be sure to mark it with a pencil.
Use a hacksaw to cut the door sweep off along the mark you made in the previous step
Step 3. Mark the pilot holes
Now that you’re sure you have the exact size of sweep that fits your door, it’s time to slide it in place. make sure it sits as it would finally look when you finally screw it in and then use your pen to mark the holes on the door.
Step 4. Drill the pilot holes
take off the door sweep and use your drill to make pilot holes on the marks you just made in the previous. As usual, you should use drill bits that are narrower than the screws you’ll be using to hold the sweep in place.
Step 5. Install the door sweep
Slide the U-shape bottom door sweep into place. If you set it incorrectly, the pilot holes you made should sit flush with the holes on the sweep. Attach the screws and screw them into place using your drill or a screwdriver. Make sure you don’t overtighten the screws or you’ll end up stripping the screw hole. The screws should be snug and not overtight.
Step 6. Test the new door sweep
Finally, test how the new door sweep is working. Try opening and closing your door and see it moves freely. Also, check that the sweep makes a tight seal with your door threshold. Some sweeps can have a seal as strong as garage door seals.
If everything is good and the door isn’t dragging when closing or opening, you’re done installing the bottom door sweep!
How to install shower door sweep?
A shower door sweep is crucial in that helps keep the water inside from leaking out whenever your shower is running. If you notice that your current sweep is becoming ineffective, you’ll need to replace the shower sweep with a new one. The same goes for a new shower. You need to equip it with a sweep to keep water from getting out.
Since shower doors are mostly glass, you might wonder how you should go about the installation.
Here is our full guide on how to install a shower door sweep:
Step 1. Remove the old sweep
if you’re replacing an old sweep, then you should the process by removing it to allow you to install the new model. if you’re installing a sweep on your shower door for the first time, skip this step.
To remove the old, first study how it is held in place. If it is glued down to the bottom of the door, simply grab one of the ends of the sweep and then firmly pull it away from the shower door until all it becomes loose. If it is connected to the base of shower door track, then you’ll need to unscrew it first for easy removal.
Step 2. Clean the door
Once the old door sweep is out, you would want to clean the door’s glass edge to remove any dirt and residue that affect the sticking power of the new sweep.
A glass-friendly scrapper will help you easily get rid of the residue and dirt. Afterward, clean with a glass cleaner of your choice with a soft cloth. Finally, wipe it dry.
Step 3. Measure the door
Now you want to measure the side of the door to enable you to get a new sweep that will fit it well. if you don’t have an idea how to go about it, you can measure the size of the old sweep to get the ideal size for your new sweep.
Make sure the new sweep has the same length and height as the old one to ensure it will easily fit in place when you finally install it.
Step 4. Install the new door sweep
Put the new sweep into your shower door base. It should fit snugly and form an airtight seal that keeps running water from leaking out through the bottom of your shower door.
If your new sweep sticks during installation or proves too tight to fit into your shower door, lubricating it with petroleum jelly will help ease things up.
Also, if the new sweep becomes too long for your door, use a pair of scissors to adjust its size for a perfect fit.
How to install self-adhesive door sweep?
As we said earlier, a self-adhesive door sweep comes with an adhesive backing and is probably the easiest sweep to install into the bottom of your door. You simply peel off the backing to expose the adhesive part and then stick it to your door.
Here are the steps to follow when installing a self-adhesive sweep:
What you’ll need:
- self-adhesive sweep
- tape measure
Step 1. Use a tape measure to get the width of the door you want to arm with the adhesive door sweep
Step 2. Clean the door frame. A cleaning detergent, a bucket of clean water, and a piece of cloth are all you need for cleaning the door frame. The aim is to get rid of all the grime and dirt on the door that can hinder your door sweep from sticking correctly.
Step 3. Close the door as you normally do and put the new door sweep against it such that the clear vinyl seal touches the door threshold. Use a pencil to mark the placement of the sweep on the door surface.
Step 4. Peel off the liner on the door sweep adhesive part and then press it (the door sweep) into place. Let the markers guide you into properly installing the sweep into place.
Step 5. Check that there are no gaps between your door threshold and the adhesive door sweep for a tight seal against outdoor elements.
How do you install a snap in a door sweep?
A snap-in door sweep comes with grips on the side that comes into contact with the base of your door (or the kerfs, if you like). Installing this type of sweep simply involves sliding the kerfs into the grooves into the bottom part of your door, in a snap action.
These sweeps are pretty versatile and work with wood, fiberglass, and even metal doors.
Unlike the other types of door sweeps, however, this door sweep requires you to first take off your door for you to install it correctly.
This is the general guide for installing a snap-in door sweep:
Step 1. Take off the door
tap the hinge pins up out of the hinges gently with the help of a hammer. when the pins are up and out, carefully lift the door to take it off its flame and set it aside.
Step 2. Work on the kerf cuts on the door
Place the door on a flat and sturdy surface to make it easy to work on. If it already bears an old snap-in door sweep, this step is easy for you because you just need to ply off the old model and fit the new one place.
If your door doesn’t have this type of sweep, then it means you’ll need to make grooves where the sweep will snap in.
Step 3. Measure the new door sweep
Your new door sweep might be a bit bigger than your door size, so you’ll need to trim it so that it has a perfect fit. Simply snap in the sweep so that it grips the grooves you just made with its kerf and then mark the excess sweep with a pencil. Use a chop saw or miter box saw to cut off the excess part of the sweep.
Step 4. Snap in the door sweep.
Snap in the new door sweep by inserting the door sweep kerfs into the grooves on the bottom of your door. You can use lay a flat block of board against the sweep and use a hammer to knock against the block to ensure you completely push in the door sweep in place.
Use a staple gun to secure the ends of the sweep and keep them from coming off due to the frequent action of opening and closing the door.
Step 5. Put the door back in
When you’re satisfied that your door sweep is properly installed, lift your door and carefully rehang it on the frame, just the same way you took it off.
With the door hinges matched up, put in the pins and gently knock them with a hammer to drive them into place.
How to install door sweep without removing door?
Let’s face it…removing the entire door to install a door sweep can seem like a lot of work. Luckily, you don’t always have to remove the door to install your new door place.
Below, we have come up with an easy guide on how to replace or install a new door sweep without necessary removing the door.
What you’ll need:
- new door sweep
- cordless drill
- drill bits and driver bits
- tape measure
Step 1. Obtain the door measurements.
The first step is to get your door using the tape measure. The key measurement here is the width of the door at the bottom.
Step 2. Adjust the size of the new door sweep.
Having obtained the ideal sweep measurements, use a pencil to mark this size on the new sweep (mark the aluminum section of the sweep). Use a hacksaw to cut along this mark.
When you reach the sweep insert, put down the hacksaw and use scissors to help you cut the vinyl part of the insert.
Step 3. Make the pilot holes
With the door closed, put your door sweep at its bottom in such a way that the sweep insert’s bottom edge touches your door threshold.
Mark the centers of the oval holes on the sweep using a pencil to show you where you’ll make the pilot holes. You may need an extra pair of hands for this part.
Step 4. Drill pilot holes
Remove the door sweep and use your drill to make pilot holes on the marks you made in Step 3. We advise you to use a drill bit with a smaller diameter than the screws that come with your door sweep.
Step 5. Screw the new sweep into place
Now put your new door sweep in place and arm your drill with the driver bit. Screw the new drill into the base of the door. DON’T overtighten the screws as this can cause stripping out of the heads or warping or the sweep aluminum frame.
Step 6. Test the door sweep
One more thing you need to confirm is whether the door sweep is working as expected. open and close your door severally while you focus on the door sweep-watch it and listen to it.
It should firmly touch your door threshold but should NOT have a dragging effect when closing or opening the door.
In case you think the installation is slightly off the hook, just loosen the screws and adjust the sweep up or down so that it sits properly. If you’re dealing with uneven threshold, adjust the sweep to match the profile of this threshold.
How to install door sweep on a metal door?
Most exterior doors usually come with an outer metal skin. If you’re planning to install a door sweep on such a door with metallic outer skin, the process is pretty similar to that of a normal wooden door.
The only part where things get a little different is drilling the pilot holes. Instead of using the normal drill bits, you should arm your drill with metal-cutting drill bits. These are readily available in your local home improvement store.
This specialty drill bit will cut through the metal part of the door as well as the interior wood.
Just like in a wooden door, make sure you make pilot holes using a drill bit with a smaller diameter than the door sweep screws.
Which side of the door do you install a door sweep? Inside or outside?
The side on which you install your door sweep will mainly depend on the type of door you’re dealing with.
You should install a door sweep on the inside of the door if your door is designed to swing into the house. If your door swings outside, you should install your door sweep on the outside bottom edge of the door.
Whatever type of door you’re dealing with, you should keep in mind that a door sweep is intended for installation at the bottom of the door to create a seal between the threshold of the bottom of your door and the rubber of the sweep.
Should a door sweep touch the floor?
No. The sweep should be installed such that it comes into contact with a bevel on your door threshold without touching the flooring material, whether it’s carpet, tile, etc.
If you let your door sweep touch the floor, it will end up making the door difficult to use. That is, it will create friction with the floor which will give you a dragging effect when opening or closing your door.
Besides making your door hard to work with, this friction might also cause your door sweep to catch your carpet, laminate, hardwood flooring, or ceramic tiles and cause damage or scratches to it. In the long run, it will wear down your flooring and force you to replace it.
Also, the sweep itself will wear faster due to the friction effect and force you to replace it with a new one before its expected lifespan is over.
But you shouldn’t place the sweep too high above the floor or it’ll create a gap that easily lets in the very elements that you’re trying to keep out and it will not be serving its purpose.
Installing a door sweep in your home is a simple process that costs you cheap but saves you save energy and save huge amounts of cash by bringing down your utility bill. we have covered all the basics you need to know before you install your first door sweep to help you correctly install this sweep and get the most out. Regardless of the type of sweep you’re installing, this guide will come in handy for you.